“Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.”
Even in our service for the Lord, we will have enemies.
Jesus had them, and He was without sin. If Christ was not without enemies, how can we think we wouldn't have them? Thankfully, Jesus Himself told us how to deal with those people.
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
In the middle of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the multitudes of people how to react when confronted by their enemies. Some of which may have even been with them in the same crowd that intently listened to Christ as He compassionately spoke to them that day.
When we pray for those that have wronged us, we receive both the blessing of obeying the Lord’s command and the absent of bitterness. How can we be bitter if we ask for the Lord’s help in the situation?
Bitterness begins to grow when we talk to others about the problem instead of taking it to the Lord.
Jesus Christ prayed for His enemies even while they crucified Him.
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
Stephen even prayed for those who threw the rocks that caused his death.
“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
When we feel like stones are being thrown at us, we have the choice of how we react as we dodge them. We can become bitter at the stone thrower, or better by choosing to pray for them while spending time in the Word. When we pray for those that have “dealt perversely” with us, we become closer to the One Who wants to fight for us.
Numbers 27-28 | Mark 1
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