We’ve heard of offensive wounds, but what about offended wounds? With the evil in the world, it’s easy to get offended – offended at injustice, offended at pain we suffer or someone else suffers. It’s easy to be offended at people for their actions and easy to be offended that God didn’t stop the evil.
John the Baptist’s entire ministry was dedicated to preaching and pointing to the Messiah. When he saw Jesus, John declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” ~ John 1:29 (NASB)
John baptized Jesus. John knew Jesus was the Messiah. However, John was thrown in prison, and he questioned, he wondered, and didn’t understand. Through John’s followers he sent word to Jesus asking, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” (Matthew 11:3)
In the midst of heartache and tragedy, the human nature questions, wonders, and doesn’t understand. How can these things happen? Were we incorrect in what we thought? God, are you still in control? In our pain the enemy taunts, “If God was good, He wouldn’t allow that to happen.”
Offenses and bitterness come easy in a world filled with evil. We can’t fully understand, we don’t see the big picture, the finished product, and the reason behind all that happens.
Jesus replied to John’s questions, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” ~ Matthew 11:4-5 (NASB)
Jesus didn’t send a rebuke, instead he gave John a gentle reminder that He truly was the Messiah. And then Jesus said, “and blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is he who takes no offense at Me and finds no cause for stumbling in or through Me and is not hindered from seeing the Truth.” ~ Matthew 11:6 (AMP)
The fact John was in prison was offensive. John’s suffering and beheading was offensive. We can be offended at injustice, but we need to be careful not to be offended at God. Offenses are a stumbling block causing us to stumble in our faith and keeps us from seeing the truth.
Don’t allow offended wounds to stay in your life. Offended wounds infect souls with the pus of bitterness, anger, and rage. They ooze with defensiveness, blocking the opportunities for healing. Offenses create gangrene soul scars that never allow the ointment of God’s tender touch.
Hebrews 12:15 warns, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.”
The root of bitterness defiles one generation after another, spoiling with ill-will, destruction, and sorrow, destroying lives, families, cities, and communities. Don’t allow a root of bitterness in your life, or become bitter because of what happened to someone else (or is happening). Even when you don’t understand, even when life doesn’t make sense, trust God.
Drop your offenses and release your bitterness at the foot of the cross. Let Jesus have anything that has offended you and anything that causes you bitterness. Let Him carry the weight of the world’s problems on His strong, healing shoulders. There is no pain, no heartache, and no difficulty too big for God. God will take everything the enemy meant for evil and turn it into good for those who love Him.
God’s justice will always be served, His love and healing are always available. Give Him your pain, your offenses, and your bitterness, and walk free in the light of God’s grace, mercy, justice, and unfailing love.