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For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, 7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 1 Peter 5b-7 AMPC
But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). James 4:6 AMPC
The scriptures above give us a picture of what humility looks like:
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
A truly humble person is consistently focused on God’s character – on His innate goodness. On the fact that it is impossible for God to be anything but good. So the humble person, in response to this knowledge and awareness of who God is, gives God the WHOLE of their care – not 99.99% of it – but ALL their care. Everything that makes them anxious, they give completely to God. Anything that concerns them, the humble person totally hands over to God. They give every iota of worry to God, leaving no trace of it behind. They give it ALL to Him.
The humble person does this because they have put their trust in God’s character. In who they know God is. They put their trust in I AM. I AM WHO I SAY I AM. This is the response of a person who believes that God is who He says He is. God’s response to this person, the scripture says, is to give them favor, blessing and grace. God gives grace to the humble. He gives the humble person the ability to do with ease what they could never accomplish in their own efforts and strength. He gives them grace to keep trusting Him and to continue in faith.
The opposite of the humble person is the proud person. If we have a picture of what humility looks like, we can also infer that this is what pride looks like:
Keeping and reserving for yourself, the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your concerns, all your worries – now and always) because you do not trust God to care for you much less to do it affectionately and watchfully.
The proud person is consistently focused on their circumstances and their limited ability to fix them. So they worry. They worry because they know they cannot possibly climb the mountain ahead of them in their own strength. In the mind of the proud person, their strength is all they have. It’s all they can count on. They are their own saving grace. So naturally, the proud person is anxious. God’s response to this person – the proud person – the worrier – is to resist them. He opposes and frustrates their efforts. He allows their plans to fail. Nothing they do will work because God won’t allow it.
When we worry, we are operating in pride. We exalt in our own eyes, our puny human abilities instead of releasing our circumstances to God in humility and FULL TRUST. The proud person is described in 1 Peter 5:5 as insolent, overbearing, disdainful, presumptuous and boastful. It is truly an insult to the power of the Omnipotent God we serve, when we worry. It is presumptuous and disdainful of the finished work of the cross when we worry. When we worry and complain, we boast in our own limited strength and magnify the power of our problems. We rehearse the abilities of our challenging circumstances rather than declaring the greatness of our God.
You see, even in the midst of their pride, God loves the proud worrier too much to leave them the way they are. So He allows the frustration and the failure to point them back to Himself. To bring them to a place of surrender to Him, which is really a place of freedom and rest. God in His infinite wisdom and love knows that if He rewards the worrier with success, they will never be free of their self-imposed prison. Just like in the parable of the Prodigal Son, The Father allows us to go our own way and find that we are still desperately in need of His support and covering. When we return to Him, He is always waiting with open arms and celebration. May we reject prideful worry and be humble enough to receive the grace that our Loving Father is offering.
Love & Blessings,