But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (Jas 4:6-7)
God gives grace. Grace is a word that should not be so mysterious. A recent sermon that I did talked about this topic. Grace is favor, it is granted and not earned. Did you hear? God gives grace!
This positive statement stands opposed to statement of those who push God toward jealousy with their friendship of the world. It should be known that ‘world’ in this context is not the people (as in “God so loved the world”) but rather the principles of the world which are against God’s principles. Those who are proud and prideful stand against God and wish to do things their way.
God will give favor but only to those who are humble. Consider these examples:
Two thieves on the cross. One repented the other continued his tirade. One went to Paradise, the other did not.
Two apostles: One betrayed Him, the other denied Him. Judas was sorrowful but in his sorrow did not see a way to get back to God; he hung himself. Peter was sorrowful and wept bitterly, God raised him up to preach the Gospel. Judas was, of course, wrong. God would have forgiven and restored him. Paul, is a clear example of that fact, being called from his persecuting ways to preach the Gospel. Paul humbled himself and repented. Did you hear? God gives Grace!
That grace is given the humble and not the proud is so often taught in the Scriptures, you almost don’t need book, chapter, verse but still one of my favorite passages is Matthew 18 where Jesus talks about the need for us to humble ourselves like children in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
One of the characteristics of children is their humility. They trust authority and will yield to its call. One of the characteristics of young adults is that they tend to rebel against authority and exert their own will. Later, adults (but still young) may realize that their parents were right and understood a thing or two. The newer relationship is a better one when that happens.
In a way, we all go through a phase like that spiritually speaking. As children, we trust God and can sing songs like “Jesus loves me” at the top of our little lungs, loving God with everything we understand to be love. Sometimes we grow to think, we are self-sufficient and that God, our Father, doesn’t know what He is talking about. What we fail to realize is that, to God, we will always be children. Also, there will never be a time in our existence where we are not His children. The fact is, we need God more as adults than we ever did as toddlers or young children.
The Good news is that when we submit ourselves to God, Satan runs the other way. He is not stronger than God, our humility and willingness to choose God is something that he cannot fight. Jesus did that when he responded “It is written…” to each of Satan’s temptations. We can do it too, if we will only say “it is written…God gives Grace to the humble!”