No retaliation!

Verse for Today: Monday, February 20, 2012

1 Peter 2:23 – 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.

The Jewish mob and the Roman soldiers who insulted and persecuted Jesus had no idea who He really was. Their atrocities against Him were largely out of their thinking that He was yet another social criminal. But their criminal acts against Him were a matter of identity crisis because they were the real criminals and He was the only innocent person around. Even in such a situation, Jesus never grumbled, retaliated or challenged them. He submitted Himself to be reviled against without which they would not even have touched Him. Thus Jesus set before us a great example of how to respond to injustice. We live in a world full of injustice, prejudice, arrogance, oppression and ridicule against God’s children. These atrocities are the instruments of the enemy of God who often uses people to fight against God’s children with these cruel weapons. We are intimidated and challenged through their oppressive behaviors and attitude to depress and discourage us. These are ultimately the enemy’s plot to push us to stumble from our walk with Jesus. The intensity of oppression is to distract us from our commitments to the Lord and to drag us away from His pathways. But Lord Jesus has set an example for us to develop divine response to such oppressive behaviors of the enemy. He wants us to entrust our grievances to God who is the righteous Judge. If we ask Him for strength to endure such severe pressure and challenges, He will give us abundance of His grace to go through it all. He will give us patience and maturity to handle the subtle tactics of the enemy. He will fill us with His Spirit to control our emotions and responses. His desire is that we learn to praise Him for all difficult situations and circumstances rather than react in anger. Jesus doesn’t permit us to fight back using the weapons of flesh. Instead He wants us to use His weapons like love, grace, patience, maturity, prayer, forgiveness and peace.

Dear reader, are you facing injustice, prejudice, arrogance, suppression and persecution from the people around you? These atrocities come usually from those whom you love and care for. When persecutions come from the loved ones in our circle of friendship, our own kith and kin, co-workers and fellow believers, the hurt is all the more painful and intimidating. But you must understand that people have sadly become instruments of the enemy of your soul. But such situations will not pass away except through prayer and fasting. In the meanwhile, we need to ask the Lord to give us His strength to handle these oppressions in love, patience and grace with which the Lord deals in us. If reactive behavioral patterns of anger, revenge, retort, conflict, arguments, fights, bitterness and arrogance which might come from us, they are all weapons of the flesh which we must denounce. Instead, we must ask the Lord to give us His Spirit to take control of our emotions and attitudes so that the weapons of flesh will not emanate from us under any circumstance. Our Lord will fill us with His Spirit who is the Spirit of humility, perseverance and joy when reviled and mocked. We are admonished by the Word to use goodness and godliness to win over evil. Our response should be in love and our conversation should be with concern for the souls of those who intimidate us. We must guard against any untoward reactions and submit all our concerns and heart aches to the Lord to handle. He will handle our intimidators at His time and in His way. Once we hand all our difficult situations to the Lord, we can be free from the bondage of negative reactions when reviled against and despised. Our Lord will comfort and encourage us to carry our cross to walk on Calvary Road and follow Him. He will strengthen our weak minds to bear these burdens of mockery, and will reward us for our patience in times of distress.

Matthew 5:10 – Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Thought for Today

Bearing the cross of mockery, insult, injustice and oppression will be preparation for wearing the crowns prepared for us.

NO RETALIATION!!
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