Just a Thought: There is a positive side to unjust punishment and pain. Oftentimes we hear people say, “What did I do to deserve this? All I did was stand up for what was right.”
The truth is we often do suffer unjust punishment or pain when we stand up for what is right. The issue is not that it’s not going to happen; the issue is how are we going to handle it when it does?
Imagine being summoned by the king and told to bow down and worship a false god and idol, when suddenly everyone else does and you’re the only one standing. Well, it happened. It happened to three Jewish men: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. But it didn’t just happen; it happened with them having full knowledge if they didn’t bow, they would be burned alive in a fiery furnace.
But when called out by the king, what did they say? “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.”’ (Dan 3:16)
They didn’t argue, fuss or fight; they simply pronounced their faith in God’s sovereign control of the outcome. And they were bound and thrown into the fire! But God also did deliver them.
Unjust punishment and pain will come to one who is faithful to stand up for the Lord. God in His sovereignty may or may not deliver you as he did these. And He has not delivered all; there were many martyrs before us (Hebrews 11:36-38).
But one thing is sure — God is in control, God can use us (as he did here to turn others to Himself). And our reaction is always witnessed by the saved and the unsaved.
Let your faith shine even in times of unjust treatment. Leave the results up to our God.
Dr. William Burnham is pastor of Point of Grace Church in Covington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.