It is rare to find someone who has not lived with the feeling of oppression. Abraham Lincoln once felt such a heavy feelings of oppression that friends came to his house to remove all sharp objects and knives fearing that he would commit suicide. Lincoln even wrote in his diary, "I fear that I shall never be of any use to anyone because of these deep dark feelings of uselessness. No one likes to be oppressed by spiritual, political or work related superiors. It is difficult to bear up under the sufferings of being governed or treated harshly or with cruel injustice. When people are kept in subservience they are unable to maximize their potentials. To be consistently weighed down by people or organizations can lead to frustration, discouragement and serious depression. Christians have a great resource in the Lord for one who is eager to liberate those who are feeling oppressed.
David once wrote, "He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free." (Psa. 146:7) Let us look at some of the answers to the question of what should you do when you are feeling oppressed?
1. Ask the Lord to help you appropriate the fact that you are more than a conqueror through Christ. Paul wrote, "We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (Rom. 8:37) In Christ, you have already been set free from sin, eternal death and enslavement to evil. We need to take advantages of our identity as children of a God who is greater than any problem.
2. Align your strength with others who are oppressed in standing up for the truth. Paul encourages the Philippians to overcome their oppressors when he wrote, "Make my joy by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose." (Phil. 2:2) There is strength, protection and facility with a number of like-minded brothers and sisters intent on Christ's purposes.
3. Ask the Lord to fight the battles for you. The Lord is much better equipped to deal with your oppressors because He is over all people, organizations and situations. Resist the temptation to take vengeance in your own hands, but leave room for the wrath of God. He will repay. (Rom. 12: 19)
4. Overcome evil with good. Paul recognized that there is more power in love, truth and Godly service than in hostile intrigue. Claim the promise; "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Rom. 12:21)
5. Count your blessings in your present situation. Solomon once wrote, Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud." (Proverbs 16:19) Consider how our dependence on the Lord increases our faith, Godliness and nearness to other godly people.
6. Use your situation to remind others of the Lord's refuge for the oppressed. The Lord may allow you to go through harsh times to bring hope to other hurting people. David wrote, "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble." (Psa. 9:9) There is great fellowship with other people who are experiencing similar ill treatments. Use this for as an opportunity to advance the church in quality and quantity wherever you are.