A couple long involved in Christian ministry have been mistreated by other believers who misconstrue their motives and question their laudable service to Christ. As a result, they feel abused, abandoned.and betrayed. Does Scripture offer any encouragement, or light to put this in perspective?
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At some time, we nearly all will find ourselves in a similar situation. Now is a good time, while the sun is shining, to fortify our minds and hearts for that occasion. Here, as always, Jesus is our ultimate and trustworthy example. Peter points to Jesus, as he encourages believers who are walking in Christ’s suffering steps:
“Keep a good conscience, so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, . . . who is now at the right hand of God (1 Pet. 3:15-22). “Let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Pet. 4:19).
The Creator of heaven and earth knows all about us — our motives, our circumstances, our attempts, our errors, our pains and dreams and hopes. He cares. He is for us. He has his own timing. He holds all power. He ultimately vindicates all those who put their trust in him. Sometimes now. Sometimes later. Forever at the Last Day — in the watching view of the whole world.
Do you suffer unjustly, my friend? You are in excellent company! Go trustingly with God. Rely on his strength. Commit yourself constantly to his mercy. Leave vengeance and vindication in his hands. Do not attempt to justify yourself before others. A meek and humble spirit will be your greatest defense. Forgiveness of others will put you closest to the heart of God where you will know sweet peace of divine forgiveness. With David, you will be able to say to God: “In your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).