Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart, Hebrews 12:3.
Yesterday in our small group Bible study class we talked about pain, suffering, revenge, and unjust treatment. We all have stories of woundedness. Whether it be of neglect, financial woes, abuse … all of these characteristics make us who we are today. The good and the bad. I wouldn’t want to change any of my circumstances. Granted, they most certainly were not fun to live through. But I did. And the good news is that God walked with me through them or around them, regardless. Even though at the time I might not have felt loved or cared for, I was. He was there all the time. Watching over me.
For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment.” (1 Peter 2:19). God’s ways are not our ways. We can endure through His strength; not on our own can we bear the burden. Power is available in and through our Great God!
But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.” (1 Peter 2:20b). Ever go out of your way to please someone, to do good to someone undeserving? When they do not respond in a positive manner or even say thank you, I get really defensive. Makes me wonder if I ever want to do good for them again. That’s where my thinking goes astray. I should not act with the expectation of receiving something in return. On the contrary, my focus should be on doing what I need to do and when I need to do it. Regardless. BECAUSE God is then pleased with me. He is the only one I should be concerned with pleasing. This lends a whole different perspective on giving and doing the right thing.
How about you? Have you reached out to someone numerous times without receiving praise or maybe not even a thank-you? Picture that person in your mind. Now substitute their face with an image of Christ. Think of what He means to you and what He’s accomplished for you. Can you go back to that person or situation and behave as if you are doing it for God and not a human being? When you operate this way, God is pleased with you, my friend!