My Pondering: This is such a revealing passage full of wisdom and important advice. Starting off, this passage is of great comfort to believers; to followers of Jesus, because it delivers hope. Hope is essential to perserverance and the endurance required to finish and finish strong.
Peter says, “Humble yourselves” because God opposes the proud and then He may have the slack, the space to exalt at the proper time. Its like this parable Jesus told starting in Luke 14:7, “7Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.””
We also see that its not an ‘if’ but rather a ‘when’ we have suffering and anxiety. Unfortunately, this is part of being human. Many Christians and non-Christians ask, “Why does a loving God allow so much suffering?” That is no doubt a deep question that is much easier to answer when life is going relatively well. Thankfully, this passage reveals some strategy and reasoning.
We are advised to cast our anxiety upon the Lord for He cares. He hears. He knows. He loves. I think this tried and true saying applies, “Let go and let God”.
Yet at the same time, Peter tells us to be aware stand firm and resist the devil, our common cloaked enemy. We each have our crosses to bear and challenges to overcome. Lets look to Jesus for a wonderful example. God will indeed convert the wrong into right. This is not a silly game to be taken lightly as we are told to be sober minded and watchful.
This passasage says some suffering is inevitable. Yet, let use common sense, apply proper principles and follow righteousness rules to avoid unnecessary and foolish suffering.
Thankfully, our suffering is not for nothing provided we have Christ in our corner for He ultimately took the heavey blows for us. When we share in His suffering, we share in His glory.
I fully realize this is much easier to write than live. God help us.
My prayer: Lord, I pray You use the pain for prosperity. That You help the burdened. That after the wash of this world, it will all be wonderful and worth it.