“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7)
I’ve been in the pharmaceutical industry for 21 years. I remember early in my career, one of the things people touted about the industry was that it was recession proof, that these jobs would be around forever. I found out firsthand in 2006, that was not the case. After almost 16 years with the same company, I lost my job due to downsizing. Thankfully, God provided another job for me. Since that time, in reaction to the evolution of healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry has continued to change, creating even greater uncertainty. Job security, no matter the industry, is an elusive thing right now in our economy. As I write this, I write thinking about many of those I know and worked with for 16 years with my previous employer. In just a few weeks they will once again face another downsizing that will inevitably put some of them in the same position in which I found myself in 2006. So, how is it we handle these times of uncertainty? How do we process all that is going on around us? Most importantly, where do we look for clarity and comfort?
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” The purpose of Peter’s letter was to encourage Christians throughout Asia Minor to stand firm in their faith despite increasing persecution. The increased persecution caused many to waver in their trust in God’s provision. Peter’s letter was meant to encourage them to look past their current circumstances and to renew their trust in what God purposed for their futures.
Do you believe the words that Peter wrote as the Holy Spirit guided his hand? Do believe that God cares for you? Well, He does, and whatever the outcome of your particular circumstance will not change that fact. It may just be He’s opening a new door for you to walk through. This passage calls for us to respond in two ways. First, we are to humble ourselves. The Greek word “humble” means “to lower oneself”. In this passage, it means to humble ourselves before a sovereign and unchangeable God who knows our circumstance better than we do. Second, we are to “cast” our anxieties on God. Our worry is a sin because it is a manifestation of pride that says, “God can’t handle this”. He can. Our anxiety may have many causes, but God is the one answer to them all. Peter also tells us that the outcome of our humbling is that in God’s own and perfect timing, He will lift us up. Believe that God loves you because He does. He displayed that love most fully in the person of Jesus Christ, and though our circumstances may change, His love never will. So the purpose in which God spoke to those before us is the same purpose for which He speaks to us now. Look beyond the current circumstance and be amazed at who God is and what He can do. Is it easy? No! Do we struggle giving it over to Him? Yes! Is giving it over to Him what He wants from us, and can He handle it? Yes and yes! What a great God!
Father, thank you for being a sovereign God that is completely in control of everything. We admit our sin of worry and doubt. If you’ve taken care of our greatest need, why should we not think you will take care of them all? Father, help us to walk by faith. By the power of the Holy Spirit, free us from the anxieties of our circumstances knowing that you are in control. Amen!