I found myself singing an old gospel song while I was mediating on my morning devotional that focused on suffering. “If I hold my peace, let the Lord fight my battle. I know that the victory shall be mine. Victory shall be mine.”
Holding my peace causes suffering. This suffering is in experiencing or feeling the opposite of how it would feel if I were able to express myself with all the emotions, passions and pain I felt. Holding my peace means not defending myself when I am being wronged. Holding my peace means delaying speaking or illuminating an issue even though EVERY fiber in my being wants to. Can you relate?
You should also be able to relate to the fact that oftentimes, more times than we care to count, God requests us to hold our peace and suffer in peace; enduring the suffering for a season and always for a reason. And, many times we are left sitting, suffering and asking God, “Why can’t I give them a piece of my mind, so I can have peace…the peace that comes with feeling vindicated.” But, it’s only in operating in His will that we experience true peace that surpasses understanding.
Do know that God knew that we would come against unfairness, injustice, mean-spirited and flat out hurtful people and situations. And, that we would not want to suffer through it, but rather express ourself, defend ourself, and redeem ourself. That is why He gave us His word to lean on and refer to, so that we remember that ALL things are part of God’s plan and in remaining obedient and enduring the suffering our character is developed and our faith and hope is increased.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And, we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” – Romans 5: 1-4
Resting on God’s promises found in His word and in the life that Jesus lived, walking the earth for 33 years healing, forgiving and ministering to the world; a world that He would eventually suffer under for nothing He did, but for all we would do. He suffered in a way we can never imagine. And, He didn’t deserve it. But, He did it, not because He wanted to, but because God needed Him to. God’s purpose is found fulfilled in Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection – creating the path to salvation and everlasting life.
Our suffering, even if its unjustified is one we can endure for God in order for His purpose to be fulfilled in our life and the lives of those connected to us. He is our vindicator and He is our provider. Allow Him to use you for a greater purpose. Find and give peace in your suffering.
Walk in faith. Live in love.