Shame and Trust

When push comes to shove, how do you react? When you are being threatened—your reputation, your status, your well-being—how do you respond?

I confess that I fail soooooo often in this. My “significance” is far too easily threatened, and I react strongly if I feel like I haven’t been given a voice, or if an idea is stolen, or if my contribution isn’t recognized.

(Actually that list of “or”s could go on and on. It’s almost embarrassing).

However, the response to shame and humiliation I find in Isaiah (and modeled perfectly in Jesus’ passion) is radically different.

I offered my back to those who beat me
And my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard.
I did not hide my face
From mockery or spitting.
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore I have set my face like a stone,
Determined to do His will.
And I know that I will not be put to shame.
He who gives me justice is near. (Isaiah 50:6-8)

I believe that scriptures like this flowed through Jesus mind and heart as he endured the beating, pain, and humiliation before his eventual execution. He didn’t endure the suffering just because God wanted him to die; he endured because of his steadfast belief that God would vindicate him (and God did through the empty tomb; the resurrection wasn’t just a really cool magic trick, it was an adamant, non-negotiable vindication of Jesus’ Messianic claims).

He who gave Jesus justice was near.

If/when we find ourselves in similar situations, what would it mean to release the right to retaliate and respond in anger, because we know God is near to us, because we know His justice will someday come, and that justice will vindicate us?

(BTW, yes, I’m preaching to myself.)

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8 thoughts on “Shame and Trust

  1. I am in agreement with so many points you made here but I your statement “he endured because of his steadfast belief that God would vindicate him.” gave me pause I believe he knew that would happen but I think he endured because of his incredible love for us and the knowledge that this was this was the only way we could be justly reconciled to God. His mind and heart were on the bigger picture.

    And I think that can apply to us too. When I don’t get credit for a good idea (one of my struggles because I don’t get many of them 🙂 ), am made fun of in a group of people, or scorned because of my opinions, I really try to remember the bigger picture which is that what I want to want is for God to be glorified and his purposes for us to be accomplished, for his kingdom to be furthered, for his love and truth to be made known. My humiliation and reputation mean nothing as long as God is glorified. That’s where I try to go in my head and my heart.

    When I read in Isaiah that “I know that I will not be put to shame, He who gives me justice is near” I don’t think vindication, but completion. Finally, He has come.

    These are my unscholarly but heartfelt thoughts.

    • Such good thoughts, Jaye… My thoughts regarding “vindication” just tried to encompass the idea that, as earth-shattering as our redemption and salvation is, the resurrection (Jesus’ vindication) is about so much more than only that… the reversal of death, the establishment of Jesus as the Messiah/King, the destruction of evil… PLUS salvation!

      blessing!

  2. I thank the Lord God, for His plan for my life that is taking me to a place of greater understanding and Love. He has always spoke truth to me for His Glory, and my good.
    The way God uses you in my life to remind me of how He sustains me in all things and at all times, has been a true blessing.
    Thank you, Eric, for your obedience to the Holy Spirit.

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