He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth. -Isaiah 53:7
Jesus was wronged and persecuted and crucified…yet all the while, He loved and prayed that his persecutors would be forgiven.
When you feel wronged and resentful, it’s easy for your flesh to rise up and demand justice…to want it to be recognized and addressed that you did nothing to earn or deserve the outcome that befell you.
One revelation I’ve been slowly—very slowly—learning, as it is starting to fall into place in my mind, is that how I handle every conflict and adverse situation is an opportunity to glorify Him.
I know that sounds pretty obvious, but that is often so hard to do when my heart and soul are hurting. In those times, I know I should glorify and praise Him, but my flesh still has a hold, and would prefer to lick its wounds. The enemy is also toasting the occasion, I’m sure.
Another piece of the puzzle came to me the other night, as words I’ve heard so many times clicked for the first time: it’s not about me at all. It’s all about You, Jesus. Understand that this does not mean I have no self-worth or deserve to be in the valley I’m in. It simply means that, with every step, word, and thought—especially when the going is uncomfortable, rough, or downright painful—that I choose to glorify He who became sin and died for me.
Sometimes that means not letting words get to me, or resisting the urge to add just one more thought, if it will just result in more conflict when loving and reasonable discussion and reproof aren’t possible. This does not mean to be silent at one’s own cost, but to trust that He will resolve the situation. And finally, I’m learning that I can never do enough in His name. With every challenge, I should instead ask, “How can I honor You even more in how I handle this situation?” instead of “Why me?”
I’m slowly learning a little more each day that I’m really more of His emissary walking this earth than the billions who only know the ways of the world. And my conduct sends a message…even when the other person(s) on the other side of the conflict are professed believers. It’s that much more crucial to reflect His light, to guide His sheep back…I would hope others would do the same for me!
I’m still developing in my walk, but from what I’m learning and what I believe the Holy Spirit tells me, I can only accomplish this by resting and melting into God’s arms, like I would in a large, plush, comfy chair. Because I no longer have to stand in my own flagging strength, but instead am entirely supported, I am strengthened in spirit, and can do Him glory.
So, whether it’s a spouse, relative, friend, or coworker, the next time they mistreat you in their own special way, fall into His arms. Then, you can be grace. Be wisdom. Be strength. Be joy. Be all those things, for Jesus.