Has there ever been a time in your life in which you were falsely accused of something? Have you ever been punished for something that you did not do? Have you had to suffer wrongfully when your innocence was certain? Many of us have been lied on before, and that has brought us some degree of hardship. It is possible to say that everyone at some point in time will feel as though they have been wronged. In our text, Luke 23:39-41, we see Christ falsely accused and wrongfully punished:
“And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.”
How did you react to your hardship? Did you patiently endure it for conscience toward God (1 Peter 2:19-20)? Or did you murmur and complain? Did you sow strife or stir up others’ emotions? Did you do or say things that would cause damage to your testimony?
It is important to remember that “…there is no power but of God… Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God…” (Romans 13:1-2). When we are faced with suffering wrongfully, it is possible to rest, knowing that all things are working together for our good (Romans 8:28). How much more so, when we trust in the divine wisdom of God, will He exalt us when we humble ourselves (Matthew 23:12).
But do we ever really suffer wrongfully? We are reminded that “…all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that, once forgiven, He has not rewarded us as our sins deserve (Psalms 103-10), but has shown mercy to us. Can any of us truly be aggrieved, who have been so pardoned by the blood of Jesus Christ?
When we feel as though we have been wronged; let us look to the Lord; let us ask that His Will be done in our life and that He give us the peace to accept that Will, enduring affliction for His Name’s sake. Let us with patience and humility, trust in Him to so strengthen us for the calling He has given us, that we might be good and faithful servants.
Let us remember that Jesus Himself suffered wrongfully, and that was for us, “…the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God…” (1 Peter 3:18). Consider where we would be, the lost position we would be in, if He had not considered us in His sufferings. All the more then, let us also consider Him when we face adversity, rightly or wrongly.