Pray For Your Enemies
Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth. Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:5-7
Praying for someone who has hurt us deeply is a difficult task, however we are commanded to do it, and to love as God loves. I was faced with a situation like this. Someone inflicted great pain to one of my family members, and had been doing it continuously for years. Not only did this person deal out the original hurt, but magnified it by spreading lies, accusations, and threats. This behavior even affected innocent children.
I must admit, I actually hoped this person would succumb to their own addiction to ease my loved one’s pain. It certainly would have made our lives easier, but instead I prayed. I knew what God wanted me to do. I also knew in a very selfish way that if Christ could come into this person’s life, they would change, making our lives easier.
Proverbs 24:17 says, “Don't rejoice when your enemies fall; don't be happy when they stumble.” I needed to shift my evil thoughts to reflect instead, on God’s healing grace. God’s desire is that all should come to repentance, through Jesus Christ. Hoping for this person’s failure only hurt the one who loves me the most; my Lord.
2 Chronicles 15:7 says, “Do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” So, I knew that even though it seemed hopeless to me, I should never give up. I should just keep praying. It’s been over six years, and there have been no changes, however I know I am doing the will of my Father.
In an abusive situation, we must stand back. We can learn to love from a distance. God never told us we had to trust another person, but, we can fully trust Him. We do not have to claim any warm, fuzzy feelings, only a desire to want a human being, to come to Jesus in repentance. God’s love is enough to overflow from us, to even our greatest enemies. We must rely on His love, not ours.
In my case, I will continue to be obedient, and pray. I will no longer hope for this person’s downfall. God gave His life for the lost. If I claim Him as mine, how can I want anything less?
It’s easy to love one that is kind, but if we want to show love to God, then we need to show love even to difficult people. We can’t do it on our own, but through Christ, we can do all things. We must place our yoke upon Him. He will give us His strength to forgive as He has forgiven us, and to love as He loves us.
Dear Father of Love, Thank you for loving us. Help us through your love to love others. Amen
~ Jenny Calvert