Pride is celebrated in our world. People proudly flaunt their successes, possessions, and qualities. However, it’s a completely different story when selfish pride can hinder salvation and a fruitful relationship with God and others. Apostle James warned us about this self-focused pride when he wrote that God gives grace to the humble.
It is believed that those who pride themselves on material things and are not humble do not acknowledge God’s way.
In this article, you will learn all about God’s gift of grace and the biblical meaning behind this verse.
God Gives Grace to the Humble Biblical Meaning
James warns us about sinful pride when he writes, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
James is referring to the kind of pride that stems from self-righteousness.
Additionally, God opposes the proud because he considers pride as sinful and a hindrance to seeking him. People who insist on elevating themselves and refusing to trust God as trustworthy, sovereign, and good will always be opposed by him.
Psalm 10:4 explains that the proud are so consumed with themselves that they make no space for God in their lives. The verses state: “In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’”
God will oppose those who don’t acknowledge him and his ways by attempting to be the ruler of their own lives. Pride refuses to bend the knee to God or repent of sin, and that keeps many people away from true salvation.
In contrast to God’s opposition to the proud is God’s grace to the humble. Those who humble themselves will find God’s favor and salvation: “Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble” (Psalm 138:6).
God shows his favor to those with a humble view of themselves, and he promises them restoration (Isaiah 57:15).
True humility is being conscious of God. Pride is being conscious of the self, and it begins as you take the eyes of your heart off of God and begin to look at yourself.
Humility will keep you focused on God and his ways. It will help you see the big picture – the universe is vast and revolves around God. This will give you a more accurate perspective and help you keep your confidence and trust in God as you look to him and depend on him.
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind. In all your ways, know, recognize, and acknowledge him; he will direct your path straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The Scripture above tells us: “In all our ways know God.” This means in every experience of life, we have to know and trust in him. We will see God working in every situation if we focus our hearts on him. If you trust him with your whole heart and learn to know him more with every life situation, you will see that he is guiding and showing you the right way.
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. (Psalms 25:9) When your character includes truth, humility, and righteousness, you will do great things.
The humble receive grace, and to receive grace means receiving all the help you need.
You only receive as much grace as the humility you possess. When there isn’t any progress in your life, it is because you are not receiving grace. Most people aren’t humble at all. They transgress in what they say and don’t even ask for forgiveness.
God wants to transform us inwardly. You need to be occupied with God, not how others treat you.
God always gives grace to the humble. When you are humble, you acknowledge the truth about yourself instead of judging and criticizing others. God lifts us up by empowering us morally and spiritually to live a Christian, God-honoring life. In this way, he will give us more grace.
The grace of intimacy and closeness
One way that God gives grace to the humble is that he offers closer fellowship with himself. This is also consistent with verses from the Bible.
This type of grace is clearly seen in James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 because it contrasts with God opposing or resisting the proud. God keeps proud at arm’s length, meaning the humble are welcomed into intimacy and closeness. This fits the context because both verses tell us that if we draw near to God, he will draw near to us. Therefore, the humble grants a closer relationship with God.
The grace of empowerment and enablement
Another way that God gives grace to the humble is by granting them the power to obey God, to please God, and to do the good works he has planned for us (Ephesians 2:10). The apostle Paul agrees when he claimed: “But by the grace of God I am what I am.” (1 Corinthians 15:10).
So, when you are humble and growing in humility, God gives you a greater ability to obey him. He grants you the power to please him. Humble people recognize this as a wonderful gift because they genuinely want to please God with the power he provides.
The humble don’t try to please God in their own strength; they know they can’t. Instead, they depend upon God’s grace, and God grants it to them abundantly.
God will give you deeper intimacy and grant you the strength to take the next obedient step for his glory. Those graces from God are a true joy to a believer.
What Are the Most Used Bible Verses Referencing God Giving Grace to the Humble
Pride will negatively affect our relationships, inflating our view of ourselves and deflating our view of God and others. In the midst of addressing this issue, James quotes Proverbs 3:34: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”.
Exalting ourselves pushes God out of his rightful place in our lives, and he will humble us “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves” (Hebrews 12:6). As we humble ourselves, he “gives grace generously” (James 4:6).
God will give us sufficient grace to meet every need and sin we face only if we are humble enough to receive it. As we decide whether to elevate ourselves or turn to God, we have to remember that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
God calls us to repent of self-righteousness, selfish demands, and proud exaltation and instead submit ourselves to God (James 4:7).
Each believer is called to “look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). When we humble ourselves, we experience God’s grace and the rewards he promises: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
Since God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble, we can live humble lives in fear of the Lord (Micah 6:8).
Frequently Asked Questions
How does God give grace to the humble?
Grace must be added to our character through God’s spirit and consistent, conscious decisions to submit to God because we love him, sincerely seek to be like him, and greatly desire to glorify him.
How does the New Testament present humility?
According to New Testament, humility is not a weak, cringing approach to life. It is not a denial of power but the deliberate controlling of power to accomplish a greater good (Matthew 20:25-28).
It comes into proper use when a person utilizes a servant approach deliberately rather than a proud and carnal human-ruler approach.
In conclusion, humility begins with confessing that you need God. God gives grace to the humble, and he considers humility as a very powerful thing. We will be rewarded with grace when we choose to submit to the Lord in all we do and surrender every part of our lives to him.
We will receive grace when we abandon our pride and look to the Lord. When we struggle, we have to make sure to be humble and surrender our hearts to the grace of God.
God will provide profound grace when we surrender our desire for control. No matter how difficult your circumstances are, you can always rely on the fact that when you are humble before God, he will lift you up.