Have your good works been misunderstood?
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Using John 10:31-42, we can unite ourselves to Jesus in the pain of rejection. Recall how you have done good works — the Lord’s work — and you’ve been misunderstood or discredited.
The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus said to them, “For which of the good works I do from my Father are you trying to stone me?”
The Jews answered Him, “We are not stoning you for good works but for blasphemy. You, a man, are claiming to be God!”
Jesus replied, “… If I fail to do my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I am doing my Father’s works, even if you don’t believe me, at least believe the works, so that from this you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried again to arrest Him; but He escaped from their power.
Perhaps you’ve been suffering rejection from loving a troublesome relative or coworker or neighbor with the forgiving, unconditional love of Jesus, while others turned away in disgust. And because you did not also reject this person, people thought you had unhealthy or immoral feelings toward that person.
Perhaps someone has tried to take advantage of you at work or in ministry or financially, and you obeyed Jesus’ command to go the extra mile and to give away the extra shirt, and you suffered rejection when those who saw this told you to fight back and demand fair treatment; then, because you didn’t follow their advice, they condemned you as a sucker without a backbone.
Who is watching for your misstep? Who is trying to trap you in order to prove that you are not the good Christian you claim to be? Who is seeking vengeance against you because of the holy stand you are taking on some issue that makes them uncomfortable?
If you are truly serving the Lord, you have earned the disapproval of people who don’t understand what you’re doing and why. Gloriously, you know how Jesus felt when it happened to Him. He knows how you feel. He’s helping you endure your sufferings because He shares with you more than His pain — He is also giving you His strength and endurance and determination to do the Father’s work.
When it wears you down — when the persecution and disapproval and condemnation still seem like too much — remember to take time to pray. Pray and ask the Father what HE thinks of you, what HE thinks of the service you give Him. Meditate on HIS opinion of you — HE approves of you! He appreciates what you’re doing! He delights in you!
God is revealing His love to the world through YOU! Pat yourself on the back even if no one else is, because your Father in heaven truly IS patting you on the back. You are His beloved child and He is very pleased with you!
© 2002 by Terry A. Modica
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