Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD. — Psalm:31:23-24
Over the years, numerous people have told me that they appreciate the fact that I am a humble person. I have always taken great pride in that! But seriously, folks, if pride is something God repays, then obviously He attaches great magnitude to this sin.
It is also worth noting that David here contrasts faith and pride as receiving opposite rewards, and therefore they are opposing attributes. Preservation from the Lord for the faithful and repayment from the Lord for the proud tell us that humility is of the Lord and pride is…well…of the devil.
David also reminds us that the life lived by faith requires courage. This courage is necessary to deal with elements in our day that have always been present but never quite as flagrant as they are now. In biblical times, pride was often associated with the rich, but pride today is marketed to the rich and poor alike as an essential aspect of getting ahead. We know this is true simply by walking through a modern bookstore and counting the number of rows and shelves containing books under the theme of self-help.
But the Bible tells us, friends, that exaltation is reserved exclusively for the humble (Matt:23:11). There is no help in self; our help is in the Lord. However, it takes courage to be humble, and it takes courage not to promote self or climb over others on the ladder of success.
The fact is, God hates pride. He says, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov:16:18). So there you have pride’s reward: destruction and a fall. But conversely, divine preservation, courage, and strength are the reward of the humble.
In this age of self, strength and courage await the humble. Give it a try today and see how you stand out. Also, you’ll see just how hard it is to do! But don’t return insult for insult, and don’t try to climb above others by tearing them down. Be humble today, which simply means, “Don’t exalt yourself.” It takes no strength to be proud. Any weakling can do that!
— Excerpted from Body Builders: A Daily Devotional by Barry Stagner, Sr. Pastor at Calvary Chapel Tustin, CA, and featured speaker on the nationally broadcast radio program The Truth about God.