Updated: Jul 7
The Gift of Being Mistreated. If we believe that God is sovereign then we must conclude that His will includes our own mistreatment at the hand of others. We see this exemplified with Jesus' suffering and mistreatment on the cross at the hand of others.
Lamentations 3:37-38 indicate that from the Most High both bad and good come to us. God never promised that His people would be marked by lives that are trouble-free, but rather how we trust Him during good times and bad. Job asks, "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" (Job 2:10) Even the disciples responded with gladness as they considered the privilege of suffering for Jesus.
So how do we respond to suffering? Fundamentally we tend to believe that we deserve a trouble-free life or at least less trouble than those who are not followers of God. This is not a biblical perspective. If Jesus suffered, then we as His followers ought to also expect suffering. 1 Peter 2:22 speaks of Jesus' suffering and more importantly, His response to the suffering. He continued to entrust Himself to Him who judges justly (His Father). John 16:33 Jesus warns that in this world we will have trouble.
Suffering is a prime time for the anger of our heart to be revealed. Christ calls us to endure suffering even when it is unjust suffering (we do nothing to deserve it). Christ gives us an example to follow along with the ability to endure suffering without responding in anger.
Mistreatment and suffering are opportunities for us to look to Jesus and grow in our faith through our suffering. In these moments we can allow anger to rule our hearts or we can be ruled by Jesus and His peace. We will never avoid the troubles of life, but we are free to choose how we will respond in the troubles of life. We can respond in the flesh in our anger or we can respond to the Spirit and be at rest. How will we respond to the trouble we face today?