7 encouragements for people who are in difficult relationships

Seven.

God has proven to you that He is able to use mistreatment and injustice to accomplish your good and His glory.

He hasn’t just told you and shown you how to respond. He’s given you proof that He’s worthy of your trust.

This is not pie in the sky stuff.

Where you just have to sit there and hope that maybe this is something that can work out for good. WE HAVE THE WORLD’S BIGGEST PROOF THAT GOD IS ABLE TO TAKE INJUSTICE AND USE IT FOR GOOD.

And that’s obviously what happened with Jesus on the cross.

That was the greatest injustice in the world. There’s nothing like it in the history of the universe because while there’s been a lot of bad things that have happened to people, there’s never been another person who was completely perfect.

But Jesus was.

He committed no sin.

And yet He was crucified.

By the very people He created.

Talk about injustice.

And yet we can count the good that happened as a result of that.

In the passage we have considered, for one thing, through that injustice God was able to give us an example of how He wants us to respond.

Verse 21ff.

Not just that though, He used Jesus’ death to provide forgiveness for us.

Verse 24.

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.”

To keep going, He used it to change us at a fundamental level.

Verse 24 again.

“That we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”

And you know, another effect.

It restored us.

Or Peter’s words.

“By his wounds you have been healed.”

I picture two people standing side by side. One hunched over, wracked with disease. The other the picture of strength. As the person who is strong is whipped and beaten, the person with disease becomes healthier and healthier. That’s just a little picture of what happened with us spiritually because of Christ’s work on the cross.

Best of all, God used this injustice to bring us back to Him.

Verse 25.

“For you were straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

While we may not understand injustice, the cross proves God is able to take it and use it.

Which is a pretty amazing thing.

It’s such a privilege to be a believer.

Because you know everybody in the world has to deal with injustice. You need to know that. Everybody has to deal with suffering in this world. I hope you understand that. Sometimes people use suffering as an objection to God, they are like how can there be a God if there is so much injustice in this world? And when we are hurting, we can begin to think like that.

But the thing is, people who say things like that, they really have a problem too because you have to ask them how can there be injustice if there is no God in the world. The fact that their heart cries out against injustice is a problem for them because there is no such thing as injustice at the zoo, if we are only animals and there is no God.

While we as Christians don’t have all the answers to injustice and pain and all of that, we don’t have to deny what our hearts are telling us, that there is such a thing as injustice, there is and we don’t have to give up and totally lose hope because while God has not told us every reason bad things happen to us in this world, He has through Christ given us proof that He is concerned about the injustice He sees in this world, He is not far removed, just telling us what to do, He has suffered and what’s more He has through Christ given us proof that in His infinite wisdom He can take all the injustice that we see in the world all around us and use it accomplish untold good.

I know some of you here, you are in very difficult relationships.

Others will be.

That’s just the way it is.

And you know it’s not easy, being mistreated.

Especially for a long period of time.

Especially for doing the right thing.

There’s hardly anything worse in this life than a difficult relationship, hardly anything can bring you that much pain. It’s so difficult it can be tempting to just let go and give up. Especially, if you are not careful about the way you think.

Which is why I want to encourage those of you are believers, to think like believers.

Remember:

1. You are not the first
2. God’s going to bring himself glory
3. He’s going to accomplish real good
4. not just about you and that person but about you and the Lord
5. God’s given you a unique opportunity to please
6. He’s given you an example and the resources
7. and given you real proof, he can take this situation and use it to accomplish amazing good.

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