Friday Dec. 22, 2017
Scripture reference 1 Peter 2:
8 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
- Yesterday I asked the question, “How can we lose out when we choose to trust God?” As well as, “Where does such a notion come from?” Is this not the crux of the matter when it comes to being treated unjustly? Now I realize that many of us might want to respond with, “No this is about right and wrong, it’s about justice, not being taken advantage of, or perhaps even the rationalization that by taking it we are in fact enabling the abuser!
- All of these objections are not only understandable, they are quite reasonable. So then why, why would Peter say that, “it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God”? Should not God consciousness motivate us to seek out justice?! Should not abuse be stopped in its tracks rather that tolerated? What in the world are we to make of this?
- Now let’s press pause for a moment because it is very easy and natural for us to quickly digress into cynicism, but we have the Word of God moving us in a seemingly objectionable direction. Jesus told His disciples, Matt. 5: 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
- Let me just say for the record I am anything but a pacifist. When it comes to the bad guys getting what they deserve I am the first in line to dish out payback but I find a very different ethic thrust upon me coming straight from the King. This ethic not only challenges my natural gut reactions it stands in judgment upon them and it without question overrules them! This ethic comes, not from well-meaning followers, it comes from the Master and it comes with power and authority because it is an ethic He not only preached, it is one He lived no matter how unjust the situation or how great the personal cost. He did not resolve to only grit His teeth and bear the consequences, He relied entirely upon His Father to not only take care of Him but to inevitably work it out! That, friend is more than an ethic, it is a guaranteed trust!