Monday, February 24, 2014

1 Peter 5:6-7 Enduring Spiritual Warfare

1 Peter 5:6-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

The letter 1 Peter was written by the apostle Simon Peter, from Rome in the late A.D. 50s or possibly early 60s to Christians in Asia Minor who were under severe persecution (Douglas, 2011, p.1111). Peter was assuring those under persecution to conduct themselves in a righteous manner and to focus on the reward they'll have from God in the next life (Douglas, 2011, p.1111). 1 Peter chapter 5 is in relation to how to conduct oneself while suffering (Douglas, 2011, p.1111). 1 Peter 5:1-4 is a message to the elders of the various churches in Asia Minor. In verse 5 young people are addressed, and then it's clear that all the Christians among the churches of Asia Minor are being addressed. In 1 Peter 5:5 we learn that God gives grace to the humble. Verses 6 and 7 are in reference to God giving grace to the humble as at the beginning of verse 6 is the word “therefore” which points back to verse 5. Christians in Asia Minor are told in verse 5 to be humble toward one another. In verse 6, they are told to be humble under the mighty hand of God. This is a teaching to understand that God is in charge and is still sovereign even during times of persecution. Peter instructs the persecuted Christians to cast their anxiety, their fear and apprehension onto God. Peter encourages them saying that God cares for them and will give them their reward in due time. Grace is the mechanism within the idea of remaining humble, and later being exalted. The primary teaching is on humbleness in persecution, the sovereignty of God, and praying over anxieties.

Christians in the United States today are becoming increasingly disheartened and discouraged with the evil and sin around them. But Christians ought to remain humble and understand that God is sovereign in all things. The persecution will grow in the United States, as the secular world casts aside Christian truth in favor of pluralism and sin. God has not fallen off the throne, he was sovereign yesterday, he remains sovereign today, and will be sovereign for all days ahead. Consider how the Christians dispersed throughout Asia Minor were persecuted and killed during the earliest days of Christianity. Peter instructed them to remain humble, and to remain aware under times of trouble and growing persecution. They were losing heart too! They were becoming discouraged, and as a result beginning to give up because they had no redress. What redress do we have in this country? Christianity is openly mocked in the public square. God has no place in public schools. Christians are mocked in the mainstream media, and called intolerant and hateful toward homosexuals. In the scientific community Christianity is openly scorned, and the idea of God raises choruses of laughter. I strongly doubt anyone will hear our redresses on these concerns either. Never-the-less, God remains sovereign. But God does not simply sit back on his throne watching idly. God cares. Let me tell you now, he truly cares. So when these mounting concerns have you filled with anxiety, I want you to go to God in prayer. Tell him about what you're upset with, and why you're upset, and I want you to turn those anxieties over to our God. Because he does care. He does listen. He can carry those things, when we can't. We can be fully assured in prayer that God cares, and we can release our anxieties knowing for certain that God is sovereign over all that happens in our country. Our reward, our exaltation awaits us in the next left, where we will have happiness, honor, and dignity as the children of God himself!

Douglas, J. D., Merrill C. Tenney, and MoiseÌs Silva. Zondervan illustrated Bible dictionary. [Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2011.

Rapids, Mich. The strongest NASB exhaustive concordance. NASB updated ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2004.

The Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible.. New York: American Bible Society, 1991.