1 Peter 5:5-11 (NIV) 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.
What these verses speak to me: God actively resists and disapproves of the Proud, but shows favor to the humble. The definition of favor is an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual. What many Christians fail to realize is not only is arrogance harmful and a hindrance to effective Ministry, but a proud person dishonors God. The proud fail to acknowledge that everything we are, or have, or have done is solely dependent on The Lord. Without God’s grace or mercy, we would be lost.
Verses 6-7 tell us to do two things; humble yourself, and cast all your anxiety on him. How often is our anxiety a byproduct of pride? I don't want to fail, I don't want to go without, I don't want to look foolish, I don't want to be uncomfortable, I don't want to give up control. Verse 8 it's fascinating to me the way that Lions Hunt, they do so by surrounding the herd they study the group and look for the weak, the sick, and the young they wait until the perfect opportunity presents itself... Then attack! imagine if you will that the weak are those that don't have a strong relationship with God; not spending time reading the Bible, or praying, no worship outside of worship service. Now Imagine the sick are those who may truly have illnesses or addiction; their bodies, minds, and souls overwhelmed with agony. lastly the young, arrogant and proud. Each of these factions can make a person prideful, the weak may say "I don't need more God in my life." or "I'm doing just fine, why should I bother?" While the sick may say "I'm happy in my sin." or "poor me I'm so sick, God must not care about me." the young speak boastfully "I can do it on my own.". Not that this is always the circumstance, but I'm sure every one of us at some time in our walk has had these moments of pride come into our hearts and minds.
There are a few other things that we have to understand as well, Satan isn't a lion. He doesn't just hunt the weak, sick, and young. He wants to attack every believer, especially the Christians who are walking upright. He hates to see us doing what God has called us to do. He will plant seeds of doubt. He will lie, and he will steal. He will hit you where it hurts the most.
I love that in verse 9, Peter doesn't tell us to run away from the devil, he says to "resist him, standing firm on the faith." Our faith should be in God we should know and trust that he will fight our battles for us, all we have to do is call on him. The latter part of this verse is exciting to me. Peter writes that we are not alone, not only is God before us but our brothers and sisters in Christ are going beside us, we should be lifting each other up in prayer, we should be encouraging one another, and showing each other kindness and compassion because most of us have gone through hard times and know how painful life can truly be.
I'm always encouraged by these last two verses. "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ," I'm filled with overwhelming joy that the king of everything called me to be with him in eternal glory. That he sent his only son to die for me so I can spend eternity with him. and after suffering a short while on earth doing the will of our gracious and merciful father, he will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. Not only did God send his perfect son to die for us but he will make us whole again. And that is why we should give Him all of the power, and the glory, and the honor forever and ever, Amen.
Humble yourself before God and cast your cares upon him and he will bless you beyond your comprehension.