God is the source of and the reason for our hope. Have you ever felt like you were unjustly judged or persecuted? Have you ever been accused of doing something you know you didn’t do, but couldn’t get anyone to believe you or take your side or even be fair in their treatment of you? Has there been a time when nobody seemed to care about your side of things? This is what the psalmist felt when he wrote Psalm 43. This is why he says, “vindicate me, o Lord.” In other versions he says, “judge me.” There are times in our life when we will feel this way. We will feel as though nobody is for us and everyone is against us. The Apostle Paul had something to say about that in his letter to the Romans. We look to chapter 8:
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Generally, we take bits and pieces of this passage but it is much more powerful in its entirety! When we feel weak, downtrodden, rejected, abandoned, persecuted, and unjustly treated, let us remember this: God will never leave us or forsake us. He is always for us. If He allows us to endure such desolation, it is for our own good. “What good could possibly come from unfairness?” I’ve asked this question many times and the scriptures are clear in the answer: to grow us closer to Him. What other better reason could there be? We shouldn’t begrudge difficulty, but instead embrace it! Turmoil in our lives serves a purpose, to know God more. This is why James writes in chapter 1:
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
We should worship, praise, and rejoice when things are going well in our lives, but the blessing of hardship is more important and more beneficial to us than the blessing of happiness and plentitude.