walk in the word
Category: Attitudes, Character, Problems, Relying on God, Spiritual Life
“When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23
True or false? Most of the challenges we deal with in life are people problems. Sometimes we cause them, sometimes others cause them. Often it’s a combination of the two.
Fact #1: If you could remove all that conflict from your life, everything would be much easier and simpler. No misunderstandings, no harsh demands, no hurt feelings, no fights or complaints or criticisms—nothing.
Fact #2: That’s never going to happen.
As we go in-depth into the life of Christ this week in the broadcast series, Just Like Jesus, we’ll see one point hammered in every chapter. Jesus knew about people problems. So what can we learn from how He faced them? As usual, you’ll hear a more thorough discussion of this in the message, but we’ll put one major truth on the table right here.
As Jesus got ready to hit the road in His public ministry, He chose twelve men to go with Him. Do you remember that scene in Mark 3:13-19? “And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him and he appointed twelve . . . Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James; Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean . . .”And then look who gets a verse all to himself— “Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him” (v. 19).
Don’t let the horror of that last verse slip by you. From studying the other gospels we know that Jesus spent an entire night in prayer before He chose His disciples. Yet here we see Him choosing someone who is going to betray Him. Jesus made a very deliberate choice—to look into Judas’ face and embrace him, knowing the role Judas would play in his death. Why would Jesus do that? Because He came to be our example. He wanted to help you and me deal with that kind of rejection in our lives.
Do you know that kind of pain? Have people said or done hurtful things to you? Has somebody you loved and trusted done something horrific to you? Maybe you live with this banner of ugliness over your life, and wonder, “How could I ever have victory over that?” Jesus’ example can help answer that.
“When his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3: 21)
His family—the ones He had grown up with: His neighbors, His uncles, His best customer at the carpentry shop said, He’s crazy. His family and friends showed up 30 miles from their home in order to yank Him out of the public eye.
Imagine how painful it was for Jesus to be so completely misunderstood that the people He thought loved Him most would try to shut down His ministry?
So how do you deal with something like that?
Let’s first heed the flashing warning signal. The danger in betrayal is that you become discouraged. You think, I can’t take this anymore and pull back from relationships. No one will ever do that to me again. I’ll just be distant from everyone. I might be lonely, but I won’t be hurt. Well, I know what that’s like; Christ certainly knew all about that too.
The solution for that is trust. When something unexpected and difficult comes into your life, get on your knees and say, “God, I don’t know why you’ve allowed this, but you’re a good and faithful God and I trust you. I believe that nothing comes into my life but for your good purposes. Lord, I want to find the good in it, and I want to bring glory to you in this situation.” As quickly as you can, get to that place of humble submission and speak those powerful words, “God, I trust You.”
It was Charles Spurgeon who said, “It is not to be imagined that the God who has been so faithful to me in the last six trials I’ve gone through, will now abandon me here on the seventh.” God would never do that.
The key that unlocks the door of victory is, “God, I trust You.”
Jesus said it. He often withdrew from conflict in order to put it in His Father’s hands. Peter testified that “When he [Jesus] was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). Because He was confident that the Father knew what He was doing, Jesus was able to rest in that place of trust and continue on in victory.
Every time Jesus was seriously attacked in His character and conduct, Jesus simply moved on. He never offered a rebuttal—not once. Instead, He absorbed the criticism and went back to work. He knew His mission and wouldn’t be distracted from doing it.
Jesus understands people problems. He also knew how not to let people’s hurtful actions get Him down. It is this: keep entrusting yourself to your heavenly Father who knows all about it.
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