#DailyDevotion But I Have Rights!
James 510As an example of patiently suffering wrong, fellow Christians, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name. 11Remember, we call those happy who endured. You heard how Job endured, and you saw how the Lord finally treated him because the Lord is tenderhearted and merciful.
James continues his theme on being patient. In particular he is calling us to patiently suffer wrong. What?! I have my rights! Yes, yes, yes, you may have your rights. You are an American after all! (well if you are reading this you mostly likely are) But James calls us to patiently suffer wrong. As an example he takes the example of the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name. They were spoken ill of. They were hunted down. They were thrown into pits of mud. They suffered numerous indignities. Some were sawn in half and others were killed in various fashions. Did not Jesus say if we were going to be his disciples we must pick up our cross and follow him?
James pulls up the example of Job as one who suffered patiently. In one day Job lost his fields, he lost his flocks, and he lost his children. If that were not enough eventually he lost his health. Yet, Job remained faithful to the LORD. Eventually he was restored to an even greater status than he was at the first because the LORD is tenderhearted and merciful. No matter your losses, your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the same LORD as whom Job had. He is merciful and tenderhearted as well. You may be restored in this life or you may have to wait until Christ returns but if you patiently endure wrongs done to you will be restored gloriously.
St. Paul tells us, 7“Why don’t you rather suffer wrong? Why don’t you rather let yourself be robbed?”(1 Cor. 6) But, but, but, I have rights! Yes, you have rights but you also are called to follow your Lord Jesus Christ. Who was more innocent than Jesus? Who suffered more wrong than Jesus? St. Peter emphases the same point here, 1 Pet219“It is a fine thing if, moved by your conscience to please God, you suffer patiently when wronged. 20What credit is it to you if you sin and patiently take a beating for it? But if you suffer for doing good and take it patiently, God is pleased with you. 21This is what you were called for, seeing that Christ also suffered for you and left you an example for you to follow in His steps. 22He never sinned nor was found to be deceiving when He spoke. 23When others abused Him, He didn’t abuse them; when He suffered, He didn’t threaten but left it in the hands of Him Who judges fairly.”
This probably goes against every grain in your body no matter your nationality. But your body is corrupted by sin. As a Christian you have a new citizenship which is in heaven. You may have your rights but you have a higher calling. You need not fear the losses in your life because others have wronged you. For Jesus’ sake suffer the wrong. Christ Jesus has already suffered the wrong for you. If it is something you really want replaced the charge it to the Lord’s account, he will repay you. If you have been harmed in any way, place that wrong on the cross. The Lord is your vengeance.
O Tenderhearted and merciful Lord, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may patiently endure all wrongs and suffering, walking in your footsteps, carrying our cross that we may point others to Jesus Christ and his salvation for them and in the end receive our promised inheritance. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.