Thursday, February 12, 2015

Worship God as You Suffer Unjustly

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:19-20
For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.  For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

Insights:  The fourth point this week deals with the way we respond to unjust suffering.  Peter expresses the thought that if someone has done wrong and they are treated harshly for it, then there is no real value in the suffering.  In other words, the person is reaping exactly what they have sown and the just rewards of such actions is suffering.  On the other hand, however, if a person is walking respectably and has done nothing to cause offense, but they are still mistreated, then the ill-treated party has a credit to their account for how they react to such hostility.  Beloved, the day in which Christians are treated unfairly is rapidly approaching.  In many segments of society we already are experiencing such persecution and it is only going to get worse.  The key to suffering is learning how to worship in the midst of it.  It is our tendency to react negatively to unjust suffering.  We want our rights to be respected and we want justice for such atrocities which have been brought against us.  If you can not tell by my choice of language, when we are experiencing unjust sufferings we act and think as if it is the end of the world.  We move it into the realm of atrocities, but the reality is, more often than not, that our pride has been bruised.  We then respond with the full wrath of our vengeance as we make our cause known to everyone that will listen to our bemoaning of our grievance.  Where in all of that kind of self-centered egotism does the Lord God receive worship and praise?  The answer is no where.  Let me challenge you to respond as Jesus did and let Him be your defender and righteousness.  Let His defense of your life before His Father be the only concern with which you have because you know you will be found innocent because of Jesus’ work on the cross of Calvary.  Let His opinion of your situation be the only opinion that matters and learn to let your pride and ego go to the wayside, all or His glory.  As you learn this lesson you will be able to worship Him better in the midst of unjust suffering.

1.  Have you recently suffered unjustly for your faith?
2.  In the midst of the unjust treatment have you worshipped the Lord well?

Prayer: Father, in my flesh I desire to rise up and defend myself when I am treated poorly.  Help me to respond as Your Son and worship You in the midst of my suffering.  May my response bring You glory.  Amen.

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