How to Rock Being Mistreated
Have you been judged, criticized, labeled, treated like a nobody? You’re not alone, and you’ve not been left alone!
Jesus was arrested, tried, sentenced, scourged and crucified. The chief priests, scribes and elders of the people of Israel did all they could do to separate us from Jesus. But the cross they used to separate the world from Jesus was the same instrument that secured salvation and provided the only way God could forgive sin without compromising His holiness and perfect righteousness.
Ultimately each of us will be placed on a proverbial cross; we can’t avoid it. Failing health, relationship conflicts, choking finances and calamity of all sorts will seek to nail us down. We’ve probably even sent a few people to the cross. It reminds me of a story from Luke where two criminals were sentenced and placed to hang on a cross next to Jesus — one on the left side and the other on the right (Luke 23:39-43). One of the thieves mocked Jesus. The other man sided with Jesus and asked to be remembered. Both thieves were rightly accused and, by law, subjected to punishment related to their crimes. One was remorseful, and the other, hardened. One humbled himself in the presence of Jesus, and the other hurled insults while joining in with the crowd.
We’re all subject to be judged, criticized, labeled and treated like nobodies. We have a proclivity to treat others that way. There is not one of us deserving of grace, yet it’s freely offered at the cross to those of us crushed enough to ask for it. You can side with the mockers and believe there is no hope and no rescue found at the cross. Or you can place your identity in a God who chose nails and a cross as the means for our salvation.
Hope can be found in the presence of whatever trial you find yourself in today because God is full of mercy — a mercy revealed through Jesus Christ, a mercy that says to a thief, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43, NIV).
Maybe you just needed to be reminded of that in this moment. I sure did! And maybe someone you know does too! Pray for that person; ask God to encourage him or her and bring the person hope and joy. After you pray, reach out with a phone call or text message of encouragement. What promises do you expect God will fulfill in the future?
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