Peter’s message to all of us here is that we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt us, casting all our anxieties on him, because he cares for us. Humbling oneself under the mighty hand of God is an Old Testament symbol of the power of God working in the experience of men, always accomplishing His sovereign purpose even though the “experience” may indeed be a fiery trial.
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Ephesians 5:15-21 (NASB)
William Carey (1761-1834) was a Baptist missionary to India. He was a pastor in England before going to the mission field where he served the Lord for 41 years translating the Scriptures. He never returned to England. When he became ill with the disease that would kill him, he was asked to select the Biblical text to be used at his funeral. He replied, “Oh, I feel that such a poor sinful creature is unworthy to have anything said about him; but if a funeral sermon must be preached, let it be from the words, ‘Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.’” He also directed the following epitaph to be engraved on his gravestone:
WILLIAM CAREY, BORN AUGUST 17th, 1761:
“A wretched, poor, and helpless worm
On Your kind arms I fall.”
The closer Christians walk with their Lord the more aware they are of His Holiness and their lack thereof. Men such as John Bunyan who were persecuted for their faith were adamant to their persecutors that those bought with the price of their Lord’s blood were bound to two duties. The first being to obey Him in all things and the other to humbly submit to fires of tribulation. Therefore, when we read in Sacred Scripture to be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ, shouldn’t we obey this? To joyfully submit to one another out of reverence for Christ is an act of a humble heart. It is the heart of one who has clothed oneself in humility toward others.