We live in a world that is full of injustice. Recent events, like the death of George Floyd have brought the world’s attention to the issue of race in America. Meanwhile lives have been unjustly lost in the riotous looting that broke out in many cities. Injustice paid for by more injustice.
Unfairness is everywhere. There is almost no way to escape it. However, how are we as believers to deal with our own personal suffering? Yes, we know that we should be vocal and active in promoting righteousness, but what about the unfair suffering that we encounter throughout our daily lives?
In 1 Peter, the writer admonishes believers regarding the idea of human suffering. In particular he speaks of unjust suffering, and the believers reaction to such.
1 Peter 2:19 (MEV)
19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God a person endures grief, suffering unjustly.
Peter says it is commendable to endure unjust suffering. Yet, he doesn’t say this is true for all cases. He tells us that what makes it commendable is when we endure suffering with mindfulness of God. In other words, when we are in the midst of suffering, our endurance is commendable in the sight of God, if we are doing so with glorifying God being our purpose.
So, when I am in the middle of unfair suffering, whether it be at the hands of a boss, family member, friend, authority, or anyone else, how can I stay mindful of God?
1. Remember your relationship with Him
Our Father. It is no coincidence that the Lord’s model of prayer began with these words. It is always good to remind ourselves that He is our father. He loves us, He cares for us, and He has our best in mind. Whatever we are going through, our Heavenly Father is aware and He is using it to work for our good.
2. Meditate on Scripture
Few tools in our arsenal are more powerful than scripture. Whenever you find yourself in unfair situations, turn to the Word. You will find scriptures of encouragement and comfort. You may even find examples of other believers who faced similar situations. Remember, we “overcome evil with good.” One of the best ways to defend your mind during times of unjust suffering is to fill yourself with the Word.
3. Remind yourself of God’s Justice
Peter offers Christ as the example of correctly navigating suffering. Speaking of Jesus, Peter says that “When He was reviled, He did not revile back; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but He entrusted Himself to Him who judges righteously”
The example that Christ gives is to endure because we trust the justice of God. While it is so easy to feel as if the good suffer while the wicked prosper, we do not need to despair. God’s nature will not allow injustice to stand. No matter how it looks now, God’s justice will prevail. There will be a reckoning. The question we must answer is, “Are you willing to trust God’s character?”
Remember, every time we are personally wronged is a chance to worship God by placing our confidence in His justice.