Grasping the powerful hand of God in complete trust

Humble myself! What an unpalatable thought! But after all, there is likely no other alternative when it comes to God, the Almighty. Or how are we to understand this? The answer becomes crystal clear from the remarks of the Chief Apostle on the following Bible text.

“I know that it does not please everyone.”—It was with these words that Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider began his sermon in Barcelona, Spain on 23 July 2017. It was based on a Bible text from 1 Peter 5: 6: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”

“Some will immediately be struck by the thought: ‘Now we are going to be told once again how bad we are’, but let us explore this passage a little more deeply. After all, I must remind you that you are so important to God that Jesus Christ has died for you. Thus He does require us to think little of ourselves or to look down on ourselves.”

Humbleness is something completely different: “True humbleness before God entails recognising His glory and crafting our relationship with Him in accordance with it. Let us recognise the mighty hand of God,” said the Chief Apostle before going on to list what this means in detail.

The hand of the Creator

“We are completely dependent on Him. Everything that we are, and everything that we have, comes from God, the Creator. For this reason we are grateful to Him. We express this through the fear of God.”

  • “We deal with our environment in the fear of God, knowing that it has been given to us by God. He has entrusted it to our care.”
  • “Our heavenly Father has given us our health and our body. Let us treat them with the fear of God.”
  • “Let us use our speech with reason in the fear of God, knowing that God has given us this gift so that we can communicate with Him.”

The guiding hand

“God desires to lead us into eternal fellowship with Him. He does not lead us into affliction! The hand of God leads us through affliction and into eternal freedom,” emphasised the Chief Apostle. The love and power of God are much greater than anything we can imagine. We trust in Him. When the moment comes, when the time is right, He will help and deliver us.”

The hand that exalts

“This thought is fascinating: out of an imperfect human being—out of me—God desires to make a creation that is like His Son! But He will exalt us over our own weaknesses and imperfections.” And how is man to respond to this? We are to humble ourselves and leave behind anything that is not part of the image of Jesus Christ.”

The hand that brings together

“The hand of our heavenly Father desires to make a single people out of many nations and many different people,” said the international Church leader. “If we recognise this unifying hand, we will humble ourselves and overcome that which separates us from our neighbour, whatever that may be.”

The hand of blessing

“Let us have the courage to speak to all people about our faith.” True humbleness is not to say, “I cannot do this. I am too small.” Those who are truly humble will say, “If God tells me what I must do, then I will do it.” After all, “We work, but God blesses. That which appears impossible to us is absolutely possible for God. We are merely instruments in His hand.”

The Chief Apostle’s conclusion: in the recognition of the glory of God, believers will humble themselves before Him by exhibiting complete trust and the fear of God, purifying themselves, overcoming that which separates them, and proclaiming the gospel to all people.

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Andreas Rother
Spain, Chief Apostle, Divine service