When Life is Unfair
Would She Do It Again?
The Importance of Making a Stand
Now this article is going to make some mad. (Trust me, I know!) It will make them mad because they want people to have a certain view of leadership. They want leadership to have an image of infallibility or “touch me not.” (and to finish the verse from Isaiah 65:5, “because I am holier than you.”
The people that hurt you the most are usually people that you look up to. Or sometimes it can be a person that you have poured yourself into. Recently when I was disappointed, in wanting a “mother in Israel,” and it became obvious to me the woman didn’t want to be a mother to anyone, I asked God, “Why did I pray for this person? How can people be so callous? Aren’t they on the same walk as me?”
See, my mother died a couple of years ago and I do still miss her. I had offered a gift to this woman and the gift was disdained. It was the best I had to offer, but it was not good enough, and there was no explanation, just “Leave me alone!” Ok....
And God answered the question this time, with the same way He answered me when it was a “father in Israel” that I was looking up to and was cruelly disappointed. First He said, “Don’t look to them, look to Me.”
In my early days, that was good revelation, and I needed it. But you can grow up in God and understand even more. If I let a situation get the best of me, it will make me bitter and unable to fulfill my purpose and destiny. And if I let that happen, then the devil has defeated me.
God has said, and Jesus endorsed this as one of the greatest of the Commandments, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Who am I living for? The one who hurt me, or the One who loves me?
The Spirit spoke to my heart, “Is there a better way?” And of course, I could respond, “Yes! There most definitely is!” Then He would say, “How would you do it? Can you put yourself in their shoes?” And sometimes I could and sometimes I couldn’t.
(Is it ok if I am real here?....)
In my early Christian days, I remember being disappointed in God and getting some real good wisdom. I was upset and ready to chuck the whole thing (so I thought). “Well, from my understanding it should be like this!” I told a friend, “and God has disappointed me!” She said, “Pam, before you go throwing God away, you need to make as many excuses as you can as to why you should not.” And that got me into reasoning, which God does not mind you doing, if you come in the right spirit. “Come, let us reason together,” He says. He invites the conversation.
Babies will be self centered, but then they must grow up, because after you get the Word and some wisdom and some ability, you are ready to minister to others, and that will require some discipline and responsibility. A lot of people bail out here, but where are they going to go? What is their future? That’s a heavy and eternal thought to consider.
But some people get really hurt through no fault of their own. And so first I want to say is that God is all-knowing, but people are not. And secondly, God does judge sin. If you see someone consistently getting away with something, you can know that harsh dealings are bound to follow, but it is not your place to help carry it out, for “Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord.”
The exception to this is when you have been put into a place of governmental leadership and your job is to stop the work of the enemy. But if you judge their soul rather than the act, you are in more danger than they are! This is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom. We are not God!!!
As you mature, you will find that God may reveal certain things to you. Judas was the son of perdition, but the disciples never saw it until his work manifested in the betrayal of Jesus. Until then, he looked like the other disciples!
Sometimes we are not mature, and when we grow up, we find that being grown up isn’t the piece of cake that we once thought it was! It’s better to give people the benefit of the doubt. You can find that the wheat and tares are growing up together, but God does not want the wheat damaged over the tares. You just carefully avoid them. A lot of problems would be solved if people would obey the Scriptures, and one that was given by Jesus to solve problems was from Matthew 18: 15-18:
"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the Church. [AND I WANT TO ADD HERE, IF IT WILL HELP] But if he refuses even to hear the Church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. [In other words, avoid the part that is evil.] Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Some people play the silence game, thinking that will solve problems, the other person can just “figure it out.” Often, they don’t! Some people think that things will “just go away” if they don’t say anything. All of that is wrong! People need to understand the right way, the Truth! And the Truth is Jesus -- who is Love.
If you are going to hold an offense, (and God will hold offences if they are not repented, just as He did Judas Iscariot who walked with Jesus but ended up in hell), it must be on a Scriptural basis, to even hold weight before the Judge of the Universe. But the whole counsel of Scripture says, “TRY to work it out.” God knows your heart. He knows if you have tried or not.
Some things you just have to let go, for the cause of the higher purpose. It’s ok, just let it go! Many things you can turn to good, such as offering compassion for others who are going through or have gone through the same things. You can be the balm of Gilead to them, helping to release the poison of the fiery dart and go on.
But I also must say that the fiery darts are going to come through from the enemy. To be in ministry, you must have your guard up pretty good, or you will never survive!
One time I was going through some stuff and the enemy was able to get his fiery darts in there pretty good. I was spending a lot of time pulling stingers out and dressing the wounds that were caused. This can be a sidetrack!
The Lord spoke to me to go to a certain church and I did. It was just the message I needed! This great minister spoke of the armor of the Lord (which I had just been sure I had in place) and he emphasized the shield of faith. A light came on!
I realized that my armor was not on perfectly after all. Those fiery darts were able to come in because my shield of faith in what God could and wanted to do for me, in me, and most of all through me-- through His Word-- was not up. I was beleiving lies of defeat!
Once I realized that these thoughts (which I felt were projected) could not stop the work of God in and through me, I was OK!
Self pity and a victimized mentality will not take you very far down the road. It may take a little of that to realize you were wronged by God’s standards, but if you don’t pull yourself up to overcome it, you deserve your troubles!
You may have to regroup, and often God allows things to happen so that you will get into His most awesome plan for you. Remember Joseph?
You must know that God will satisfy you in the midst of your enemies, but not so that you can gloat, but so that you can see that His Love is indeed the Victory. It will be OK! God has the last laugh and He wants you to join into His Holy laughter. Be all you can be and give Him glory! He is worthy. He can overcome the evil one. He has done it through His Son Jesus. Believe.
Do you know anyone who has the perfect life? I don't either. Sometimes it SEEMS someone has it better than we do, at least for the time being. And maybe they do!
I was feeling sorry for myself the other day, when I turned on the television and saw a story on a severe case of child abuse. It didn't just break my heart, it made me angry. And I realized that my problems, while serious to me, were nothing compared to the agony of injustice this small child had gone through.
Oh if I could solve the problems of the world! What do you do when things are overwhelming? Jesus said we would be persecuted for righteousness' sake. And coming into this world we all carry the sin nature package that can only be overcome by accepting Jesus into our lives.
In God's eyes, when we accept Jesus, we are perfect because He sees us through the blood that Jesus shed on the Cross as an offering (or acceptable atonement) for our sin. Thanks be to God, we are free from the curse of sin and breaking the perfect laws of God.
It was impossible for human man to live up to the standard of God in righteousness. And it still is. We need the Spirit of God in our lives to overcome the effects of the devil and rebellion in this life.
But there is still injustice! It even happens in churches! I had poured out my life at a church as an offering to God, and then someone lied about me.
It was so unfair! And it was so untrue! I couldn't even defend myself because for a long time I didn't even know what the problem was. It seemed the more I tried, the worse it got! Ever been there?
So I prayed for the truth and the truth of the situation was revealed. It didn't solve the problem, but at least the enemy was isolated. Because the other person's word was taken over mine, I still lost out, for the time being. It was definite injustice and I felt that the ministry work had been abused.
But what can you do in the face of injustice? Well, of course, I cried. That helped a little bit. But then I prayed. God has a way of giving reassurances in the face of adversity.
I felt very sorry for myself, and anger for the hurt that it caused to other people. Then I saw the little boy on tv who had been so severely abused and had no defense. He died.
"Oh Lord," I cried, "Is that all that can be done? It was so unfair to that precious little boy!" (His name was "Jesus"! You may have seen it on "60 Minutes.") But I had to come to a position of faith that God is still on the throne. And that He will keep that which is committed to Him. He said come to Him like a child, or you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)
The problem is, we grow up. And when we grow up, our problems are not the same as those we had as children. We can't ask the foolish question Nicodemus did in John 3, "Do I become a child again?" It's obvious we can't!
Little "Jesus" could not defend himself. I could not either. But I can stand for truth to the best of my ability. The rest I have to leave in child-like faith.
We have a Comforter, the Holy Spirit. We have the weapons of warfare. And they are mighty in God! But even still, we don't win every battle (but we do win the war!)
I found myself praying for "Jesus's" abusers. What shame they will feel in the Presence of a Mighty Just God! But the love of God is greater, and abusers can be set free if they will call on the Name of the Lord. But if they don't, and I'm not the Judge, they will burn in hell. Because He is a just God.
She saw the brutality of the His death and the hate they had for him. She saw the angry mobs, the soldiers's sword that pierced His side, the feet that kicked, the hands that pulled out His hair and His beard.
She saw them put the cross on His bloody striped back, blood dripping from the mocking thorny crown they placed on His head. Would she do it again? She also knew the perfect tender love of her little Boy, would she have chosen life for Him if she knew? She knew His sweet smile.
Often we wonder. She knew the little fat hands on her face, the loyal help he gave to His stepfather and her husband Joseph. She remembered the dutifulness of His denying Himself until He was of proper age.
Oh, but the scorn He received, the death that He suffered, the sword, as Simeon had prophesied, that pierced her heart. Would she do it again if she had the choice??? But what about the daughter that was healed, what about the servant that was cured, what about the boy who was raised to life again, as well as the brother of Mary and Martha, the singles?
What if the people had not heard His words, what if the Pharisees and Scribes had not heard His answers--you know a few of them believed on Him ultimately. Their lives were saved for eternity.
What about the hope that He gave, the cures to those who were halt and maimed and blind??? What about those who were delivered from tormenting spirits?
And there was a season that Mary was foolish--when she and her other sons wanted Jesus to come away from the ministry and do it another way. If she had to do it all over again, would she do it?
But she also knew that in her Son was forgiveness, incredible forgiveness, not just for her but for the sins of the whole world. Even at His death, He took care of her needs and assigned John to watch out for her, and he was not even a relative!
Mary was an incredible lady. When the angel had come and declared the will of God, she had replied, "I am the handmaiden of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word."
If she had to do it all over again, would she? I guess it would depend on what day you asked her. The three days prior to His resurrection, she may have said "No, my grief is too great--No, no, no!"
But on that third day, when she saw Him in the flesh, resurrected, whole and smiling with conquering love, she remembered also His words, "Behold I make all things new," and she believed.
What would you do?
There are many things in this American life that we treasure and often take for granted. We admire the excellence and ablilites of other people and wish we could be like them, or we thank God that someone is doing what needs to be done. But in that admiration we often don't realize that there is a gift in us that God has given to be used for His glory.
If we knew our unused potential, we might be staggered. But how can we ever know what our abilities are, if we don't make an effort? So often people go through great tragedy to discover the best in them, but I want to say that it doesn't have to be. Oh, it happens, and it is great when something good can come out of evil, but why don't we give life our all to begin with?
We come up with the "I can't's" and the "I couldn't's" and "Who would be interested in me?" but you would be surprised how people are admired for their forthrightness, even if it just seems insignificant to begin with.
I am sure you have worked a jigsaw puzzle at some time or another, and you know that each piece fits together to make the whole picture. Alone, it looks like nothing, mis-shapen and blurry but when put together, it forms a beautiful picture! And if just one piece is missing, the picture is not complete.
The Bible says we are strengthened with might in our inner man by His Spirit. The key to accomplishing great things is to begin with something small and not stopping at that, but continuously give until little becomes much. Perhaps all you can do today is minister to one person, but that may be much in God's eyes, and His heart is moved to favor you because you are being a blessing.
The more you practice doing good, the better you get at it. Today you may pray with a friend and share a Bible verse, next year you could teach Sunday School and then you might find yourself attending Bible School because you feel a tug to do even more! Today you may care for a child and next year be starting a great Children's Ministry.
It could be today that you donate food at the drop off place, in a few months you could be the Shelter's most valuable volunteer, reaping the reward of love from changed lives. There are so many things you can do!
Perhaps you decide to discipline yourself to take a night class or start a home business and then find yourself influential in a place that will minister to others. The Christian is never without gifts!
Maybe all you can do is talk, but if you do that talk in a worthy way, calling shut- ins, visiting in hospitals, you can change a dark and gloomy situation into one of great joy for both of you! You never give without getting something in return if you do it in the right Spirit, for God is Love.
The first of the Ten Commandments says to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5) If we are lazy in our inner man, we fail God! We are not obeying His Commandments.
It may seem like trouble to find out a little information on a few candidates and then make the right vote, but in doing that you will serve a nation of people, yours! If we do not stand up for our Spiritual rights in a world that wants to take them away, we not only cheat ourselves but our children and grandchildren.
What you do today will impact them greatly in the future and your example will stay with them for the rest of their lives. If you do good, chances are they will, too, for they will imitate you.
My prayer is with Paul, "that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us to Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:16-20)
Every great plant begins with a small seed. Are you the planting of the Lord? Learn to weather the storms and the trials, but stand for what is right and you will be surprised how much your influence causes blessings not only to others, but also yourself, and at the end you will hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Maker!"