Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14 NIV
Not too long ago my husband and I were deeply hurt by a very unscrupulous business person – the hurt was financial, emotional, and it ruined the good relationships we had.
As we walked through this ordeal I had a choice – I could complain, try to make my case with whoever would listen – or I could make my case with my Father and seek Him moment by moment.
It doesn’t feel good to go through a circumstance that cuts deeply and leaves us feeling betrayed. But on the other side we can look back and be better because of it.
After the initial shock wore off and it became obvious this would stretch into months before it could be settled, I felt the Lord nudging me: ‘Turn it over to Me’. So I sat with my Bible in my lap and prayed asking the One who loves me and cares about all the details of my life, ‘What, Father, should I be doing?’
Not thinking I was hearing anything, I opened my Bible. The passage I found before me was Romans 12:9 and I read through to chapter 12:21. The verse He showed me to work on was our verse for today, Romans 12:14. I knew this meant He wanted me to pray for this person, asking for their salvation, asking for them to have the same love I was privileged to have, asking more for them and forgetting what I thought I needed.
This was not easy and it did not feel good. But the more I read through this passage, and the more I prayed for my persecutor, the freer I became. Instead of concentrating on what I could do to right the wrong, my focus became; could this very lost person find the Father I knew.
I would love to tell you that in the end salvation came to this person and we came out unscarred. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case; we did suffer loss and I don’t know about the other party. But I do know I was obedient and, Lord willing, maybe someday the angels will rejoice when a lost soul finally surrenders.
An added bonus was that after reading through this passage so many times, I had it memorized. Hidden in my heart now would always be a portion of the living Word. I was better because of it after all.
Oh, my friend, it is not easy to speak kindly or to forgive fearlessly. But a good searching of the Word gives us no other means to glorify God, no other means for trusting that He has it all under control. Take baby steps towards His Goal – that you are free indeed, no longer a slave to bitterness, hatred, anger.
Father, when we are hurt or betrayed, when we feel crushed and wounded, we cannot move beyond it on our own. Please so indwell us with Your Holy Spirit that we can hear You, enable us to trust You, and show us the way everlasting. Let us move beyond our hurts Lord in a way that magnifies Your Majesty. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.