Many people think of humility as a weakness, but biblical humility is a position of strength because it’s dependence on God and Him alone. Pride is just the opposite. It’s a position of weakness because it’s dependence on self. No matter how talented, well-educated, or smart you are, you are inadequate in and of yourself. If you’re going to be successful and live a life of victory and power, you had better learn to depend on God and not yourself.
It’s no accident that God chose Peter, a man known for his pride, to write the manual on humility. This man who was once known as Peter the proud became Peter the humble. Through trials and tribulations, God molded him into a man of humility. God will often use trials and suffering to break us down so He can build us up.
If you’re going to be successful and live a life of victory and power, you had better learn to depend on God and not yourself.
But for that to happen, we must learn something about submission and humility. For us to be all that God wants us to be, we must first be submitted to His authority and to the people He has placed in positions of authority around us.
God has a purpose for the trials in our lives, but many times we merely react to the trial. The Christian life is about thriving and not just surviving the trials we experience. Paul says in Romans 8:37 that in all of the trials, tribulations, and distress we experience, we can be “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
What does it take to go from surviving to thriving? It takes the grace of God to live in the power of God. We can learn about the purpose and the power of God’s grace from Peter. God’s power for living is unlimited in the life of the believer. The early church experienced this power and grace in Acts 4:33, “And with great power, the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.” Do you see how God’s power and God’s grace are interrelated? You need to understand the potential of God’s power in your life and His sufficiency in your trials. God uses trials to reveal who we really are and to test the maturity of our faith.
The primary thing God wants to teach you through the trials is that His grace is sufficient. God has the exact measure of grace you need in your trial. Peter is affirming what the Apostle Paul said early in his ministry.
Acts 14:22 says, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
God’s ultimate purpose for your life is to mold you and conform you to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29) to the point of forgiving your enemies as Jesus did when He was nailed to the cross. The Christian life is one of forgiveness and faith, but you can’t learn either until you’ve experienced a trial.
The primary thing God wants to teach you through the trials is that His grace is sufficient.
When I’m confronted with a trial in my life, the questions I should ask are, “How can I grow?” and “What is God trying to teach me?” We’re not talking about trials that come through our own sin and stupidity, but the trials that come from simply being a member of the human race. God’s grace is sufficient no matter what you’re going through.
Acts 20:32 says, “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up…”
You get the grace of God by the Word of God, the “word of His grace.” It’s not just about listening to a sermon once a week, but the key is to learn God’s Word so you can apply it to your life in any situation you face. God wants you to build a relationship with Him and learn to depend on Him. Your hope is the grace of God.
God wants to establish four qualities in your life. He wants to “perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
1 Peter 5:10 says, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
God wants to equip you to handle anything He would ask of you in life and whatever trials you face. You get that equipping through the Word of God.
Colossians 2:6 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…”
If you go to the gym and never break a sweat, you’ve wasted your time. Weight lifters recognize the only way to get bigger and stronger is to exercise their muscles to the point of exhaustion. God brings you to a place where you have no choice but to depend on Him. That is how you become strong and steadfast in your faith.
If I have spicy Mexican food right before bed, I wake up about midnight with my esophagus on fire and toss and turn all night. For some of you, your lives are like that. Your life is unsettled, and you are constantly stressed. God’s ultimate desire is for your life to proclaim and reflect His glory and to be a living testimony that demonstrates His dominion (1 Peter 5:11).
The greatest opportunities we have to proclaim His glory are in the midst of the greatest trials of our lives.
God wants to perfect you, establish you, strengthen you, and settle you. His goal is not just to make you healthy, wealthy, and wise. The greatest opportunities we have to proclaim His glory are in the midst of the greatest trials of our lives. As people watch you go through a trial, what are they going to think about your God? It’s easy to praise God while things are going well. Anybody can give God the glory after a big victory, but the real mark of maturity is when you give Him glory and praise even when your world is falling apart.