“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5
We all have had moments in our lives when, if we didn’t know any better, it would seem that God was against us. Maybe he was—not in the sense of being unloving but in the sense of opposing actions or attitudes that would ultimately be harmful to us. If there is anything God comes out against, it is pride. The Apostle Peter wrote these words to young men prone to throwing off the wisdom and guidance of their elders. He also adds words for all Christians: “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…” What was the reason for this instruction? God opposes the proud.
Pastor Roger Barrier wrote in his book Hearing the Voice of God of how God’s opposition to his pride took shape in his life:
“When pride creeps in, all of a sudden the work gets hard…no longer a delight…ministry becomes a heroic effort to rescue my plans and intentions.”
~ Roger Barrier, Hearing the Voice of God Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1998), 116
This forthright appraisal of his work gives us insight into the tangible ways God opposes pride. We are thankful for his honesty.
God does oppose the proud, but more importantly he gives grace to the humble. He gives help and blessing to those who walk in submission to him and his people. Francis Frangipane wrote,
“Humility…builds a spiritual defense around your soul, prohibiting strife, competition, and many of life’s irritations from stealing your peace.”
~ Francis Frangipane, The Three Battlegrounds. (Cedar Rapids:, Arrow, 2002), 22.
God opposes pride but blesses humility. Are you enjoying the blessings of humility? Here are some questions to help you consider this truth.
1. Are my ministry frustrations simply routine struggles of everyday life? Or is God opposing my pride?
2. Is there pride in my life that needs to be surrendered to the Lord?
3. Is my life marked by submission to God and other believers?
Prayer starter: Lord, I long for your grace to be evident in my life. Grant me the ability to surrender my sinful pride.
About the Author: Lyndon Wall served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada for fourteen years. He has also served the Jos, Nigeria mission community by providing pastoral care. Lyndon is the founder of Refresh Ministries, which is dedicated to helping people in ministry enjoy “healthy souls.” Lyndon earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This excerpt is from Lyndon’s devotional book “Refresh“. Lyndon wrote “Refresh“ specifically for pastors, missionaries, and ministry workers whose souls have been parched by the stresses and tests of life. Stress is a reality of life. It can harm and drain us of vital energy. It must be responded to wisely. This devotional book was written to help you encounter Jesus Christ, the great refresher of the soul and give insights that will help you live with a renewed and joyful heart.