God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5)
When we are facing the storms of life, we always have two choices: We can humble ourselves before the mighty hand of Providence or we can grumble. I can tell you from personal experience that my sinful nature finds it far easier to grumble than to humble. In other words, it is easier for me to resist the providence of God, to “kick against the goads” (Acts 26:14), especially when His providence is painful, rather than to humbly receive it.
But this is not for you! This is not the way to live for those who see God’s sovereign hand behind everything that occurs in life.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)
The Spirit of God moved in Peter to instruct us to submit and surrender to God’s providential workings in our lives, both the pleasant and the painful. And the only way we can possibly begin to do this is to see God’s mighty hand behind everything that is going on in our lives. God’s hand is behind our accomplishments and our adversities, our happiness and our heartaches, our triumphs and our turmoil. My seminary professor, Dr. R. C. Sproul, was fond of saying, “If there is one maverick molecule in the universe, you cannot trust God for anything. Either God is in control of everything or nothing.”
The Bible is filled with stories of those who understood this truth and lived by it against all odds. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and spent years in a prison in Egypt. But God was with Joseph and blessed everything he did. Eventually, Joseph was raised up to the position of second in authority over all of Egypt. A terrible famine struck the land, and Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food. When they arrived, they got the food they were looking for and the forgiveness they could have never imagined.
Joseph made it clear that he saw God’s hand behind everything that happened in his life, including the reprehensible actions his brothers; he told them, “It was not you who sent me here, but God” (Genesis 45:8). Joseph knew that God used even the sinful acts of his brothers to accomplish His perfect purposes. Joseph had a choice: He could have grumbled about his misfortune or humbled himself under the mighty hand of God. And because Joseph chose the way of humility, God did indeed lift him up in due time.
What God did for Joseph, He will do for you and me if we will exchange our grumble for humble.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!