Imagine you’re a 42-year-old man and you’re unemployed. Your boss wanted help pilfering the company’s money and your integrity cost you your job. You can’t get hired because being a Christian proves you are an intolerant bigot. You had to step down from your position as the outreach leader in your church because the pastor’s brother moved into town and liked the position you labored to create. Now your wife thinks you’re a wuss because you let the bullies push you around.
Have you had enough! Let’s try entering another world. Dusty is the best dog I’ve ever owned. This yellow Labrador Retriever is the model of intelligence and good behavior. Aside from one upstart kitten, he rules his domain with dignity and skill. Yes, life was good for Dusty, until a week ago.
Meet Bear. This cuddly combination Rottweiler/Lab doesn’t know the word fear. His favorite target is a yellow tail and two floppy ears and they ain’t his own. He looks our hissing cat in the eye and absorbs jabs swung twice as fast as I remember Sugar Ray Leonard swinging. If Dusty is minding his own bone, Bear steals it. I’ve never heard my yellow champ bark so much or appear so flustered. It’s like this puppy has invaded his psyche and turned his castle into canine purgatory.
I fed Dusty his food this morning and asked how he was holding up. While he was eating Bear made his move. No subtlety to this pup—straight into the bowl he plunged his head. I expected instant decapitation. You never stick your head in a full-grown dog’s bowl. That’s like pulling a grenade pin and counting to seven before you throw it.
But Dusty showed no teeth. He didn’t growl or end Bear’s charmed life. He quietly raised his head and let the whippersnapper eat. Wow! What consideration in the face of injustice. He modeled self-control when instinct must have raged “Attack.”
Isaiah 53:7--He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth.
John 19:10--So Pilate said to Him, “You’re not talking to me? Don’t You know that I have the authority to release You and the authority to crucify You?”
When life seems unfair, how do you respond? When your reputation is smeared by lies do you get even? It’s one thing for a dog to model decency. How exceedingly more radical was the example of God’s Son who took abuse like it was His due and laid off the zap button He could have easily punched for His enemies.
The reason we detest injustice is because it steals away our comfort. Jesus didn’t die so we could be comfortable. The reason we hate tyranny is because it threatens our rights. Jesus didn’t wave a placard demanding justice. He wore a crown of thorns that sent streams of blood flowing down His slandered head. He entrusted Himself to the care of His Father and got smoked. But if Satan thought He was a patsy, He didn’t understand the Holy Fire that would come.
Are you weary of the bend-over-here-it-comes syndrome? Go all the way! That’s right! Move from leaning over to the full kneeling position and pray, “Yet not as I will, but as You will!” (Matthew 26:39). Oh friend, don’t give up. Life may seem unfair. But in God’s grace you too can raise your head above the injustice of a sinful world that hates Jesus. In His strength you can be treated wrongly and not retaliate; be scorned and return love; be mocked and deliver kindness. Always remember, the river of injustice will some day flow into the sea of Judgment and God’s holiness will prevail. Drive on!
Jesus Christ demands that there be not the slightest trace of resentment even suppressed in the heart of a disciple when he meets with tyranny and injustice.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1999 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)