CCLXXI. Humility and its Reward.

1 PET. v. 6.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due time.”

I. THE kind of suffering which the text represents is that
from which there is no present escape. Peter is not re-
ferring to light affliction, but to heavy sorrow and to
abiding grief. Incurable sickness, inflexible poverty, per-
secution continued, and unavoidable bereavement—these
are the mighty hand of God.
II. The text prescribes our behaviour in suffering.
There is a kind of submission which we cannot help, but
with this inevitable submission there may be great pride of
heart, expressing itself in murmuring and unholy complain-
ing and rebellion. A contrary behaviour is prescribed here:
that humility which is the chastened emotion we feel when
conscious of our inferiority, our sinfulness, our weakness,
our poverty, our helplessness, and our nothingness.
III. The text suggests the strongest motives for the
adoption and pursuit of such conduct.
There is one motive springing from the words, “the hand
of God.” That sorrow from which I cannot escape is not
a chance. There is a hand in it, and that hand is the hand
of God, who never can do wrong.
But the special motive is that God may exalt us in due
time. God has a good intent in our depression. Consider
his dealings with Joseph, David, and Daniel, who never
dreamed of exalting themselves, but who were lifted up
by God.
For this exaltation there is a season of which God can
only judge. There is a due time. This lifting up is never
too late; this lifting up is never too soon. For the sake of
the exaltation let us humble ourselves. The way out of
affliction is to be in heart afflicted; we must weep to have
our tears wiped away.
Samuel Martin

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