It’s easy, when you find yourself in a trying situation, to make excuses for your behavior; to say, “Woe is me,” and expect everyone to sympathize with you and pat you on the back, not just occasionally or even often, but almost as if it were a daily penance on their part because you have to deal with the difficult and they don’t—at least in your mind.
“Why is this happening to me?” can become a mantra if you aren’t careful. Maybe God, in the passage above, answers that question.
Judah repented when they learned the consequences of their disobedience and God repented their destruction. But He did not stop their servitude to the king of Egypt. “This way they will learn how to serve me,” he told the prophet.
Did you ever think that maybe that “unjust” master (boss) was there to teach you service? Or that difficult spouse?
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly, 1Pet 2:18-19.
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct, 1Pet 3:1-2.
Did you ever think that maybe that obnoxious neighbor or ornery brother in the Lord might be there to teach you patience and forbearance?
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing, 1Pet 3:9.
In fact, doesn’t God expect us to use every situation, whether blessing or trial, to improve as His servant? The sufferings we endure are meant to be opportunities for growth, not merit badges on a boastful sash.
Suffering does not make us exempt to the call to service. People in all situations of life have been serving God as hard as they can for as long as they can, whether rich or poor, sick or healthy, hungry or full, old or young, even in slavery, for thousands of years. The place God puts us is not only the test of our faith, but the textbook from which we learn our service. What lesson would God have you learn today?
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you, 1Pet 5:10.