"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 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."
I Peter 5:5-7 (ESV)
Today, was a 10-mile run, so I chose a longer passage than what I'm writing about. If you have time, read the rest of the chapter. You won't regret it. There are certainly many beautiful, encouraging, and rebuking words in these verses, but I will try my best to keep it brief. As a soon-to-be college graduate (only one month left!), I am going through a very big time of transition in my life. Ever since I can remember, I have been going to school. And suddenly that's all about to change. I'm expected to have a job, pay off my student loans, maybe move to a new city (or state), and take care of my own taxes! While I have had a taste of adult responsibility, the next few months of my life are the great unknown, and they are terrifying. I have heard sermons and Bible studies about this passage many times before, but this new mindset of mine made me view the verses in a completely different light.
Oftentimes, Christian split this passage into multiple pieces. We hear the sermon about the first section: humility and the sermon about the middle: worrying. It bothered me at first that both of these (seemingly) unrelated topics were smashed into the same thought, but the more I thought about it, the more it began to make a lot of sense.
Lets start at the end with casting all of our anxieties on God. I have a lot of anxieties. I want to find a good job, live somewhere nice, and be able to pay my loans and bills. There isn't anything wrong with being concerned about the future, but all of these anxieties revolve around a central theme. I want to be the best. I want to be successful. I am afraid of falling short of society's standards for being a success. In short, I am incredibly proud, and failing would be too painful to bear.
God says to cast those cares on him. Because first, God is all-knowing and sovereign. He knows where I will live, who I will marry, and when it's all going to go down. And most importantly, he's going to make sure that I get there in one piece. Second, when I cast my cares on him, he's the one doing all of the work. Hence, the whole "humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God" part. It's hard to take credit for something that you had no control over. When you give it to God, it's a lot easier to be humble.
Pride is ugly, and I don't want it in my life. But it's also really easy to fall into that pit. The first step to conquering pride is realizing that it's not yours to conquer. They aren't your battles to fight. They aren't your problems to solve. So when God comes through with the victory, he gets all of his due glory.