On the Journey: “Humble with Our Heads Held High”

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness (poverty), or peril, or sword?  As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’  No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

– Romans 8:35-37

Humility with confidence sounds like a contradiction, but for those who walk with Christ, it is part of what it means to be walking in Jesus’ footsteps.

Paul writes in Philippians 2:7 that Jesus was humbled in “emptying Himself [of the glory and attributes of being God], taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.”  Jesus’ humility was not that He was broken, but that in His humanity, He depended on others: His mother, the people around him.  He ministered not out of His own power, but in the power of God the Father, depending on the Father’s guidance, empowering, and ultimately on the cross, trusting God the Father to vindicate Him in resurrection.

We so often try to minimize or mask our brokenness, our vulnerabilities and needs.  Humility is when we stop hiding and acknowledge where we are and who we are.  What makes that possible is when we realize that we are already fully known and already loved by God.  The God who created and sustains all things reaches out to us and calls on us to simply trust Him.

The more we grasp that we are safe in God’s hands, the more we are able to live in confidence, able to see ourselves truly, in all our gifts and faults, and knowing God is both able and willing to be our strength and our hope in this world whatever our circumstances.  In this we find joy in God that gives us strength.

In Paul’s time, the Roman empire would demonstrate its power by marching its victorious troops down the street, along with captives and the spoils of victory in battle.  Paul knew that for many, to follow Jesus would mean being marched down those roads to be martyred.  Yet in the midst of this, it is we who are more than conquerors in Christ – we can have the confidence that God ultimately is victorious.

Why?  Because of the victory parade Jesus took from the temple to Golgotha.  What looked like weakness and shame was His glory – the unveiling of the depth of the love of God – Father, Son, Spirit – for all of us.  In this love, this sacrifice, this resurrection, Christ has conquered, and in Him, we too can have this confidence that nothing in this world can separate us from the love, the power, and the purposes of God to restore and redeem and hold on to us.

May this be the good news that gives us courage, and the good news we proclaim with our lives and words.

Blessings on the Journey,

Pastor Brian