“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
“What did I do to deserve this!” All of us have asked this question one time or another. Life has a way of throwing us a curve ball. We didn’t see it coming. We have been thrown into survival mode. We assume life should be fair and predictable. We know we have not been “perfect”, but we consider ourselves better than most and struggle to understand why hard times have come.
Amid storms in life, we don’t see any positive outcome. We hope for the best and pray for miracles but fall back into doubt and despair instead of breaking through into positive expectation.
Another perspective amid trouble is the opinion that everyone else seems happy and content. Trouble makes us feel lonely, even in a crowd. No one can really understand. Whether you accept it or not, Jesus does understand.
The scripture quoted is from John the Baptist at the baptism of Jesus. This is the beginning of the Lord’s ministry. At this point, there has been no opposition, and there have been no issues, no attack of Satan, no misunderstanding of his mission. He has no scars, no stress, no enemies, no threats.
But notice how John the Baptist announces his presence, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Such a strange title with such a challenging future. Jesus is described as a Lamb. His purpose as a lamb is to take away our sin. In order to accomplish this task, He will suffer and die in our place.
So, apply our question to Jesus. Have you ever seen recorded Jesus asking, “What have I done to deserve this?” He never asked that, did he? The reason is because His life is lived for a purpose. The Heavenly Father’s Will is to be glorified in the love expressed through Jesus’ suffering so we would not receive what we deserve.
There was a divine reason for hard times in the life of Jesus. Sure, there are evil attacks. There are unfair episodes. There is unnecessary pain and hurt. Yet, on a higher level, “All things were working for the good for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). Without the unfair, cruel, painful chapter in Jesus’ life, there will be no victory. Though He wished for the cup to pass, He desired God’s will, not His own.
Are you questioning, “What did I do to deserve this?” If so, change your question. Ask God to show you how you bring honor to Him with simple trust that He is the One who gives you better than you deserve. His gift can only be described as grace, unmerited love. His reward, to those who trust in every chapter of life, will be enjoyed forever.
Those in Christ know the answer to the question, “What did I do to deserve this?” The answer is “nothing”. We will never deserve God’s love, but He delivers anyway. Your pain is real, but so is your Savior. Instead of asking “Why?”, ask “How can I walk with my Lord through this day?” When you ask the right question is when the answers become more clear.
Bro. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, 4032 Poplar Springs Drive, Meridian. Visit the church website at www.psdbc.org. From the Shepherd's Heart is published Fridays in The Meridian Star.