1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – Week 7

My internet was down for over a week and I was unable to make my post for this Bible study!   Sorry for the delay. 

Being wronged and treated unkindly or unfairly by others are a part of life and can be expected just like trials and tribulations in a believer’s life.  Christ suffered such treatment also, how can we expect any different.  Are we greater than Him?

God DOES care that we are being treated unfairly and He WILL in His way and time deal with the other person, BUT most important to God is HOW we respond to this mistreatment. 

This confuses some but it is quite simple:  God wants us to mature and grow through these testings, and He knows that the incorrect attitude and spirit will do more harm to us.   It will allow Satan (because we are following his ways) to set up strongholds in our life that will make us and those around us miserable, hinder our walk with God, damage our testimony, and keep us from serving Him in the way He would have.

Being treated badly by others is weight lifting for the spirit.  Responses done correctly strengthen spirits, but done incorrectly it harm us.   The key is to respond (allowing the Holy Spirit to control and guide you) not react (allowing the flesh and the devil to be your control and guide).  It is a plain and simple choice but very difficult one if you are in the habit of deal with the situation like a blow torch.

When being treated badly it pleases God to see us act like His Son. Now this doesn’t mean it will not affect us in some way.  You will probably feel explosions going off inside and fire shooting from your eyes.  What is important is that our outward response is right.  If we accept His grace, immediately forgive the person and not dwell on the event, we will learn to respond as quickly as we used to blow up. Then that inner fire of anger will fade. Another plus is that we will not be guilty of throwing another log on the “fires of contention” and turning the situation into a battle.  Many times the best response is simply silence.

The problem here is the majority of time people think that any negative response toward them done wrongfully because they have done no wrong.  More often than not they have brought it upon themselves and made.  If you find yourself being mistreated my EVERYONE, ALL the time, then you and the Lord need to sit down  take an inward inventor of yourself. You may not be the martyr you think.  We have already read this in Lesson 2, but I believe it is a true guide for when we are unfairly treated.

“For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:”  1 Peter 2:19-21

This was a timely lesson.  For many, many years I have suffered maltreatment at the hands of a person.   In the past few years it has been an almost daily basis.  The Lord had helped me grow in responding to situations. But having it so regularly has been a new challenge and caused me to grown again. 

Have I respond correctly 100% of the time?  No, but the Lord has lovingly convicted me when I didn’t and I was more mindful of it the next time.  Have I arrived yet?  No, and I don’t think I ever will.  God will continue to work on me till He takes me home. There will always be somebody come on the scene that will have a new way to “punch my buttons”, and I will be tested again.  If I handle it as the Lord wants, my spiritual “biceps” will get stronger.

Recently it had become almost unbearable.   God lovingly stepped in and gave me a break from the situation, but I am about to return to it again.  I am ready and with the Lord’s help I will grow even stronger.  I am not looking forward to it and I do not like it, but I know this is a season of life meant for my good. 

I know I speak of him often in my reviews, but the greatest example in this is my precious husband.  In 40 years of marriage I can honestly say I have never seen him respond incorrectly when he was mistreated.  I have seen him have herculean strength and hold his tongue in vicious attacks.  God has used him as an example in molding my life in so many areas.  I guess that is another reason we could say our responses are very important.  Our family, our children, and those around us are watching and we are influencing them.

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