Just imagine the police show up at your door at 3 AM and need to inform you that your son or daughter was in an incident that occurred at the local bar and they were in the crossfire of a shooting and they are now dead. We hear about this a lot of the time on the news but really are not deeply upset by it until now you are the family on the news. You find out the person that was responsible for the shooting was sentenced to death for murder but out on a technicality as the judge felt sorry for him and did not think he deserved death so he released him. We all think this could never happen to us. What if it actually does? How would we react? Would we be looking for ways to get even with the judge or the person doing the shooting? Would we welcome this person into our home and care for him?
You are probably thinking that I have gone completely insane if I would even think the last question and you may be right. Let us look at this from our Lord and Savior’s written word about this.
Romans 12:14-21 (NASB)
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord.
20 "BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD."
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
This kind of narrows down what our response should be, actually completely leaves us with ONLY 1 choice. Do we have enough faith to allow God to take the vengeance or will we do it ourselves? It really comes down to our faith. I cannot imagine more of a tribulation than this one and do we pass the test in God’s eyes or man’s?
You will say how in the world can I have this much faith. I could never pass this test no matter what. I can never forgive or forget what this person did to me. I will never have peace again. I hear many statements such as these when people are in the midst of a trial or just afterwards. I think this is the usual and normal reaction we have as people. But God says we do it very differently. Oh, how can it be? Where can I get the strength and courage? To be honest that is the easy part. Again you are thinking I have gone off the deep end. Let us look again at God’s word for the proper direction.
Romans 12:1-3 (NASB)
1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Philippians 4:4-9 (NASB)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
See it really is very simple. I said simple but it takes everything we have. The closer we walk with God then the easier it becomes to do as he says and not what the world says. Let us start this process right now and dedicate time for Him every day. Through scripture reading, meditation, prayer, and fellowship we can have the faith and peace that it requires to pass this horrifying trial. We must pray without ceasing and do everything we can to show Christ to this person and all those around us. Remember He will help us in every trial and tribulation we go through with the end result being our maturity in Christ
Till next month when we will continue to look at how we mature in Christ hopefully in less painful ways.
In His Service