Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "It Is Well With My Soul"1 (Lyrics)
1 Peter 2:23 – [Jesus] did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. (NLT)
When in your life have you experienced unfair treatment that left you bruised and beaten? When have you been tempted to retaliate for circumstances and events that left you in pain and filled with grief?
In suffering, we can respond in two ways. One response is to retaliate and grow bitter in disgust at what God has allowed to happen. The other response is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and not retaliate, but leave our case in the hands of God to sort out.
For the past two and a half years, I've been learning to follow in the footsteps of Jesus myself. Our motorcycle riding came to a sudden end one day in the spring of 2011 when a car ran a stop sign and left my wife and me bruised and beaten under the car on the side of the road. I did nothing wrong but ended up with a life-altering situation.
The journey of recovery continues as I brace for surgery number nine later this month. But as I do, I am choosing to leave my case in the hands of God. I'm learning to surrender this ordeal to God. And as I do, I have been experiencing peace, contentment, and courage for the fight.
What about you? What event in your life has been unfair? A job loss? An unexpected death? An illness? An accident? A reversal in finances?
I invite you to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and leave your case in the hands of God.
I leave you with a list of some of the things I'm surrendering to God. I encourage you to write out your own list of the parts of your life that you need to leave in the hands of God.
- I surrender what I've lost and leave behind.
- I surrender the pain and suffering ahead (e.g. the surgery and therapy).
- I surrender the need for an end date to my recovery.
- I surrender my talents, skills, and abilities for God to use as He sees fit in the meantime.
- I surrender my need to know what the future holds.
Surrendering is not waving the white flag and giving control over to a tyrannical enemy army. Surrendering is letting the all-knowing, all-powerful God work out the details of our case according to His plan and design!
A prayer of surrender: Father, thank You for handling Jesus' case as only You could. Jesus, thank You for showing us how to deal with unfair treatment and unimaginable suffering. Father, give me the strength today to leave my case in Your hands and let You lead my life in the days ahead. I know that I can trust You, no matter what. Amen.