Growing Through Unfair Treatment

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God sets us up for blessing when we encounter unreasonable authority. But will we respond correctly and receive the blessing, or will we become resentful and bitter?

For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:16–17 NKJV

A prerequisite for intimacy with the Lord is a broken heart. Even though the process that produces a broken heart is not pleasant, the joy of God’s presence far outweighs the hardship involved. This state is attained not through sacrificial living or offerings but through obedience.

To be broken does not mean to be weakened. It has to do with our response to authority. God customizes the perfect breaking process for each of us, and this always entails some form of leadership. For this reason Peter wrote:

Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake… Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 1 Peter 2:13, 18 NKJV

Servants could be identified as employees, students, church members, or civilians. Masters could be employers, teachers, church leaders, or governmental leaders. Most of us have had good and gentle leaders, and we have loved them. They were easy to submit to. However, God commands us to be submissive not only to the good and gentle but also to the harsh!

The wisdom of God molds a submitted heart through this kind of treatment in three ways. First, such treatment makes room for us to trust in God’s righteous judgment. Second, it develops in us the character of Christ. Third, our submission under this treatment glorifies God. Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Romans 8:33 NKJV

When we refuse to defend ourselves, we are hidden under the hand of God’s grace and judgment. There is no safer place. In contrast, those who defend themselves come under the jurisdiction and judgment of their accusers and thus forfeit divine intervention.

…If we die with him, we will also live with him. If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. 2 Timothy 2:11–12 NLT

Spiritual authority is promised to those who suffer like Christ. The greater the hardship you endure, the greater the authority God entrusts to you. God sets us up for blessing when we encounter unreasonable authority. But will we respond correctly and receive the blessing, or will we become resentful and bitter?

With this new perspective, how can you look at any difficult authorities in your life? How will you respond to them? Ask the Holy Spirit for His wisdom as He guides you in laying down your own defenses in exchange for His divine protection.


Adapted from Under Cover: The Promise of Protection Under His Authority (Thomas Nelson, 2001).

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