Kinds of Humility: Sickness, Sin, Design, Persecution and Death.

Five Kinds of Humility

This is a list of some ways God brings humility into our lives. We need to pay attention to how God is working in our lives to learn what He is teaching us from these experiences. This is one class that we don't want to take over!

Humility from sickness
Humility from sin
Humility from design
Humility from persecution
Humility from death

Humility from sickness

Sickness is a hard subject to comprehend. Just when we think we have mastered our understanding of disease, we face some circumstance that rattles our theory. The reason for this is that sickness is a common experience. Each occurrence has its own causes and purposes. It is well if we summarize our quest to understand disease and sickness by saying with Jesus,

"This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it." (John 11:4).

In other words, no matter what sickness and disease might be diagnosed, God is accomplishing His good purpose through it.

The view of life from our sickbed is different from our office!

The humbling due to sickness is a blessing. Of late, when I get sick, I start paying more attention to the lessons God is teaching me rather than the disruption to my life's schedule. Instead of having lingering doubt about God's love for me, bright inspirations of faith shine through all the misery.

Sickness is a warning even to the unbelieving. Sickness so shakes up our life's perspective, that it helps us reevaluate our lives. The view of life from our sickbed is different from the view from our office! If we don't doubt God's sovereign hand in our lives, weakness of body creates a humbling of attitude

Spurgeon said,

Some of the purest Christians that have ever lived have had the most sickness to bear, and by that means they have been made more meet for heaven, even as the sycamore fig by being bruised becomes ripe. (1)

Humility from sin

We often think well of ourselves. The darkness in our soul was well disguised. We couldn't see it, that is, until someone exposed us, whether purposely or not. Then we got to see a different picture of our lives. We were embarrassed at what people could see. We were shamed at how we failed someone else's expectation. No one likes exposure of his weaknesses. But in fact, the earlier the exposure, the less damage to his life he will have to face.

Our goal is to have a right perspective of ourselves. Galatians 6:2-4 reminds us,

Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.

Humility enables us to find correction before the Day of Judgment. Although we might lose face, position and wealth, we are far better off from the humble lessons of the present than future exposure. If we are humbled by our sin now, then because of Christ's divine grace, we need not suffer shame then. We can hide our sin in Christ. Self-examination is a long lost discipline for keeping both our churches and selves free from sin's contamination. 2 Cor 13:5 says,

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?"

Humility from design

There are seasons of quietness in our lives. God builds them in for our benefit. They are meant to be times of gaining objectivity so that we can get clearer insight into our lives. Vacations, meditation, sabbaticals and sabbath rests are all designed with this in mind. It is true that much of this is lost in the distractions of our age through entertainment, constant music, and capturing bits of useless knowledge. If we can be quiet though, we will find a humility of soul. Some retreats include a morning or day when each person is off on his own only with a Bible and paper.

Our age is anything but quiet. Note how Isaiah captures this same scene of the wicked in three significant places (Isaiah 48:22; 57:21; 66:24). Each verse closes one of the three nine–chapter sections in the last half of Isaiah.

"There is no peace for the wicked," says the LORD. (Isaiah 48:22).
"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked." (Isaiah 57:21).
"Then they shall go forth and look On the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm shall not die, And their fire shall not be quenched; And they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind." (Isaiah 66:24).

Humility has its purpose of revealing hidden things so that we can be better trained and prepared for the future. Keep a journal, and you will learn even more from God's design of humbling experiences and times.

Humility from persecution

Jesus reserves one of the beatitudes for those being persecuted for His Name's sake. (Not because we didn't pay our taxes!) Persecution humbles our lives.

"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. "Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12).

In persecution, those things which we count most precious on earth are stripped away from us not much like they ripped away Jesus' clothes before the crucifixion. Our homes, wealth, possessions, security, friends, and reputation (framed). God even allows others to exploit the families, bodies, sexual parts, etc. of His people. We sometimes try to avoi

The Godly Man: When God Touches a Man's Life--- Purchase The Godly Man and its ten studies in easy epub or pdf format!d the issue of God in times of persecution, but indeed this is when we need Him most. This is when He is nearest.

The purpose of the Book of Revelation is to prepare God's people for the tribulation not to escape it (2). The book is to strengthen our confidence in His control of all things even though it doesn't seem apparent that He does. Through this series, God gives us the necessary faith to gloriously persevere. Life is seen with the light of eternity. Please note the important lessons we find in this following passage.

And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also. And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; (Revelation 6:9-12).

God selected a number of His children to go through the difficult waters of martyrdom. The holding back of judgment is to bring the greatest blessings to His people. He has not made a mistake. Persecution brings greater blessing through the lessons of humility. God is bringing a greater glory into our lives through the humility just as He did with His own Son. In a real sense, these martyrs share in His death and suffering. "And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him." (Romans 8:17).

Humility from death

People often do not speak about death. Death, however, no longer can be hidden from us. Death is seeking us out. Even great wealth, security devices and advanced hospitals are being penetrated. The Pentagon was bombed. Terrorists are exploding our concept of security. We reject the naturalists' view that death is natural and uneventful. Death is unnatural and strips from us a very significant part of our lives. The humbling aspect of death is to realize that a place in the ground is being carved out for us, or perhaps even more humbling, our ashes will be dispersed in the air. "From dust to dust."

All our achievements will one day soon be over. Old age sends its blessed reminders through aching bones, eye and hearing problems, bodily malfunctions, etc., etc., etc. Each reminder helps us get a better perspective of life and death because soon it will be too late. If we are wise, we will see the glory and fame that we seek is meaningless over the spread of history. Our conquests and achievements will like our ashes be spread so thinly in world history that no one will notice and remember us. John the Baptist could so easily step down from his wonderful role by understanding that all that we have is not from our selves but from God.

John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven. (John 3:27).

Death can awaken us to our eternal call. It calls us to leave our worldly pursuits. If we can appreciate the humbling of our minds and bodies in the sunset of death, then we can prosper in the age to come. The sooner we learn this principle, the wiser we will be. Moses, speaks so clearly of this in Psalm 90.

For all our days have declined in Thy fury; We have finished our years like a sigh. As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away. (Psalms 90:9-10).

Humble, not Proud: A Biblical series on Humility

The Pattern of Humility Moses & Humility
Kinds of Humility Pride replaced with Humility
Jesus, Pioneer of Humility Humility in Ministry
Humility and Leadership Steps towards Humility
Dying to Self Testimonies on Humility
The Godly Man Series: Pure heart, not Divided, Righteousness not compromise, Fear God not fear man, Goodness and Contentment, Waiting upon God, Faith and unfaithfulness, Truth not deception, Love not lusts, Grace and graciousness
Righteousness, not Compromise
Grace and Graciousness
Truth, Not Deception Faith and Faithfulness
Goodness and Contentment Fear God, Fear not Man
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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Paul J. Bucknell

(1) Spurgeon's Gold by Soli Deo Gloria, p. 144
.(2) Many films and books about Jesus' return are dangerous. They are not preparing God's people to endure suffering but escapism. I would be glad to see all His saints escape but this is not what Revelation teaches us!