8.1.12 "Powerful Promises"

Today’s scripture reading is 1 Peter 5: 5b-11 All of you, clothe yourselves with humility(B) toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”[a](C)   6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.(D) Cast all your anxiety on him(E) because he cares for you.(F)     Be alert and of sober mind.(G) Your enemy the devil prowls around(H) like a roaring lion(I) looking for someone to devour. Resist him,(J) standing firm in the faith,(K) because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.(L)     10 And the God of all grace, who called you(M) to his eternal glory(N) in Christ, after you have suffered a little while,(O) will himself restore you and make you strong,(P) firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.(Q)  

As I first read this portion of scripture, God’s promises are what caught my attention.   His promise to lift me up in due time, His promise that He cares for me, His promise to restore me, to make me strong, to make me firm and steadfast!  His promise to give me grace when I humble myself and the promise to care for me.  That’s a lot of promises.  Sunday’s message from Matthew 10 was about God’s provision for us even in the midst of hardship, suffering, resistance, tension and friction.  When I think of my calling to live out my faith in a broken world as authentically, lovingly, and zealously as possible, I know I’m going to come up against the things I listed above.  The devil will make sure of that!  But none of that has to limit me or my witness if I’m trusting in the promises that God has given me.  His promises are His provision for me.

Today’s scripture ends with, “To Him be the power for ever and ever.”   If I’m trusting in that power,  then my anxiety really does fall on Him and I can be free when I come up against some form of persecution because He has my back!  He has the final say.  He has the ultimate authority to lift me up in due time regardless of what I’m dealing with.  And I believe God is calling me into an “urgent”  & “impactful” calling...  not one that I can take my time with ... or can think about tomorrow instead of today.   Time is wasting away for those who are far from Him, so earnestly praying for people who don’t know Jesus and seeking opportunities to be His light in their lives is urgent.   And I guarantee if the devil is prowling around looking for someone to devour... and God is calling me to be alert and sober, then the devil knows the time is urgent too!

Sometimes it seems hard to be humble when the message of Jesus is so urgent!,  I believe however, that humility is attractive to this broken world.  There’s so much arrogance and pride and a “me first” mentality, that humility towards others is noticeable and a great way to show someone they are valued by me and by God.  And I know if I humble myself before God and surrender to Him, He will provide me a way to be clothed with humility towards others.

No trial or struggle I experience now compares to the promises that I will experience and am experiencing now.   I don’t have to wait until I get to heaven to experience His  promises... He is providing for me now and every day...and provides for all of us in the same way - all who call Him Lord.  That’s enough to give me goose bumps!    How about you?  Are you willing to put it all out there, put it on the line, be vulnerable for Him - no matter what?   Can you trust in His promises so fully that fear won’t hold you back?   Today’s scripture has really made me ask these questions.... I would love to hear what He’s saying to you about it!