–>Dealing with Injustice and Persecution<–
You’re sitting in church; twisting in turning in your seat. The message is uncomfortable–painful even–and it’s not because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. You want to run and leave. You want to scream out in agony. The shame is unbearable. Everyone in the congregation seems to be enjoying the teaching or sermon and which each comment they make on what has been said you feel the knife that has been planted in your heart twisting and turning for good measure. They don’t know what they’re doing or saying, really. How could they? They have never experienced what the person from the bible retelling experienced. They’ve never experienced depression or mental illness.
Sure, it’s all fun jesting how the demon possessed man in Luke was running around screaming in pain. It’s all A-Okay laughing about how that demon that took hold of that man because the man was ‘in the wrong’ or couldn’t control himself due to a mental illness because he “done messed with the devil too much”. Or how about mocking how people who experience any type of sorrow or lack of joy are possibly not fully in the Lord because we all know the Bible says: ” Be happy or you’re a sinner”[this is
Sparta sarcasm]. Really, though, it’s not ok. None of this is ok.
When a person was demon possessed did Jesus laugh or move with compassion and try to cast the demon out? Unfortunately not everyone who ‘believes’ in Jesus shows the love and compassion of God in their every day lives. As someone who has dealt with mental illness for years, I’ve sat through tons of uncomfortable sermons like mentioned above and I know that not all of those people meant what they said in disrespect, but it still cut me. I’ve dealt with people treating me like an idiot who cannot understand anything after I’ve told them my dilemma, despite talking to me like a normal human being for 3 minutes into the conversation. I’ve had people laugh when I’ve told them, question my choices, and ignore/be wary of my claims against sexual harassment or general abuse because uncertainty of the validity my voice. In the past, I’ve dealt with long nights of crying out to God over and over just to end it because the symptoms alone were too unbearable to deal with in life.
“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”
2 Corinthians 4:7-10(NLT)
However, despite all this the only thing I can think about is the suffering everyone in the body of Christ deals with. Sometimes in prayer I become overwhelmed with what is weighing on others in the body of Christ and find myself weeping over them and their suffering. People I’ve met on the street, at my job, at school, or people I’ve never met at all. There is much more going on in people’s lives than meets the eye and it just makes me ponder. Who, then, will defend the widow? Who will defend the fatherless? Who will defend those in need? Who will defend the mentally ill or the disabled? Who will defend those who cannot speak up for themselves? Who will defend the one who is weak and has no help or strength? The Bible tells us plain as day that not only will God do it, but us as Christians should also defend the weak when we have the ability to do so.
“Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.”
Romans 12:19 (NLT)
The truth about walking with God is, that even if you are dealing with any type of disability or disadvantage, Satan will not care about it. Injustice still occurs, persecution still comes hot and heavy, and what’s worse is that your disadvantage can cause more opportunity for the enemy to try to enter your mind. The good thing about God is that despite having a huge disadvantage or weakness, God still works through us and in us. He works skillfully in us. When He sees injustice, He mourns with us. When He sees people abuse their authority over you, it ignites Him with anger. When He sees the weak being bullied or abused, He understands as Jesus, Himself, was bullied and mistreated. Trust God and His word period. Vengeance is His. He repays at the right time. Weep, cry, or scream if you have to, but hold firm to your hope in God. Don’t let Satan or a circumstance destroy your relationship with God because, trust me when I say, He is one of the people who will always be on your side.
“For the LORD loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die.”
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