1. Response to Injustice – Positive Purpose or Bitterness
All around us, we see things that are not right and we go through hurts and suffering (could be a family dysfunction, manipulative religion/politics to exploit and control people, etc). There seem to be two different ways that people react to the problems they face. As seen in the story of Cain and Abel, one way to respond is to renew a commitment to what is right, seek God, aspire for the highest good, renew a sense of positive purpose to change things, gratitude, adopt responsibility to live properly and make sacrifices necessary for doing that. The second way is that of bitterness, resentment, entitlement, greed, and being selfish to grab as much as one can, at the expense of others. Abel offered sacrifice to God and renewed his commitment to what is good/right, while Cain became resentful and resorted to a jealous killing rage.
2. Seeking God’s Wisdom for Proper Response
In 2 Chronicles 20, we see the battle that king Jehoshaphat finds himself in. His nation was surrounded by multiple enemies that united against him. Jehoshaphat does the right thing seeking God for guidance to help in his responsibilities to protect his nation/people. On several other occasions, God required the people to engage in a battle, but on this occasion, God says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 20:17)
3. Finding Meaning and Purpose in Life
The fallen state of the world that we are in, cannot be perfect, and it is inevitable that we face problems/suffering/crises. However, part of being a disciple of Jesus is to use the problems we face to find the purpose of our life, respond in the right way, to make a contribution to God’s world. Making a difference by properly repairing the issues we face in the world can be the battle of our life, the story of our life, our heroic adventure to show moral courage. There is no shortage of opportunities to find such purpose in our lives. The problems that we can contribute to fixing are right in front of us, often within the family, neighborhood, or communities that we live.
Let the crises and sufferings that we face lead us to seek wisdom and guidance from God, to renew our commitment to repair, contribute to establishing kingdom values in God’s world.