When I’m in resistance I make life’s pain into suffering. Yes, pain’s increased and made into suffering by my resistance. So what does this entail? Everything? This is a hard word, and nobody wants to hear it. My hope is that this post brings encouragement to weary souls fighting the wrong fight.
Here’s an arena where this can be seen. Resist not the evil men do to you (Matthew 5:39). Why on earth would Jesus make the statement, Do Not Resist an Evil Person? It’s counter-intuitive to our need to thrive and survive. How could He ask me to not resist? Because of this: God knows the fruit of my resistance. He knows that if I resist, I’ll only increase the levels of my pain, working them into suffering. His attempt is to lessen my pain, not increase it.
Every time that I have resisted ill treatment, I’ve only prolonged pain and increased my suffering. When the unjust action of evil men meets my resistance, the result is bitterness and rage. I’ve put myself in torment, which can linger for years. And what’s more, I’m robbed of the blessing hidden in the encounter. Yes, God blesses the nonresistant one. Actually, my nonresistance can make me rich but this will go against every natural instinct I have.
I’m in a fallen world and I’m not getting out of here without pain. People will mock me, slander me, disagree with and misunderstand me. If I did everything perfectly, this still would be the case. Even Jesus Christ was murdered. The most perfect man to walk our earth, the Son of God, was crucified by His very own creation! The people He loved and came to save killed Him, and He never resisted. Though He taught and educated, confronted and challenged, He never resisted evil men. Even at His own crucifixion, Christ refused to resist.
Christ Had No Resistance
In Gethsemane, Jesus bowed rather than resist the will of His Father. I can assure you that even as painful as the cross was, if He had resisted, it would’ve multiplied the pain. Resistance just increases pain!
I heard a message by Gene Edwards about being crucified by Christians. In it he makes the point that a crucifixion is not a crucifixion if the one being crucified speaks out in their defense. Wow! So this means that martyrdom must be met with silence or it is just murder. Christ went to the cross as a lamb—silent. This is the very nature of a martyr. Martyrdom cannot be met with self-defense or resistance.
And though we may never be nailed to a wooden cross, this relates to our personal daily crosses as well. Again, if I resist, I just increase the pain to suffering. There is no nobility in suffering, especially if it’s just because I’m pushing back against the pain of my cross. The noble one follows the Lamb wherever He goes. And this is to nonresistance.
Everywhere in my life that I’ve resisted, it’s ended in my torment. God’s not allowing pain for pain’s sake; the fruit of most pain is for blessing. In actuality, my resistance ends up working against my blessing. All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). If I’m in resistance, I will also be resisting His purpose and the blessing that He wishes to award me. It is not to smart to miss my blessings by attempting to avoid pain. As I said, the pain is inevitable but to resist just robs me of the payoff and replaces it with suffering.
Matthew 5:39 Phillips
“You have heard that it used to be said ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’, but I tell you, do not resist the evil man who wants to harm you.