and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
The book of Proverbs shows us how foolish we can be if we do not choose to live wisely. It also teaches us how to be humble and how to be Christlike in all manner of ways.
Matthew 5:44 tells us to love our enemies despite them cursing us, despising us, and spitefully using or persecuting us. However, some of us are so weighed down by the troubles they’ve caused that for a little moment, we forget Who we belong to and rejoice in their pain. We feel satisfied when we hear of their misfortunes instead of lifting them up in prayer.
Why must we love our enemies? Simple. Just as much as He loves us, Jesus also loves our enemies for He does not want anyone to perish, but to join Him in everlasting life (2 Peter 3:9). So whenever you feel like rejoicing over your enemy because bad things befall them, remember that Jesus died for EVERYONE inclusive of your enemy; you’re not exclusive.
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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;
When I was a teenager, I used to say that I have no enemies, not knowing that they came in the form of a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, or even a family member. And that one enemy can use your very own friends and family to turn against you. The world is also an enemy.
Praying for our enemies is a form of love. When we pray for those who spite us, we follow the Saviour’s example as He hung on the cross. He could’ve asked the Father to persecute His enemies as they did Him, but instead, He chose to ask the Father to forgive them (Luke 23:24). Even when Stephen was being stoned to death, he followed in the footsteps of Jesus and expressed love for his enemies by asking God to forgive them (Acts 7:60).
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I know it can be hard to pray and sometimes to forgive our enemies, but think about this: do you want to end up just like them? When we act spiteful, we allow hatred to fill our thoughts which in turn quench the Holy Spirit in our hearts and feelings gets in the way, and you may be tempted to spite, act out or even kill your enemy. But when we pray for our enemies, it eradicates anger and in some casts fear for perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
Before you pray for your enemies, release all negative thoughts including revenge and hateful emotions. Seek wisdom to pray and to love your enemies as Jesus did.
Share a story where it was very difficult for you to forgive the perpetrator for wronging you, but you did it — you forgave them.
I think I’ll talk about forgiveness instead, so…
I tend to forgive easily because that is what God wants us to do. And think about this: had God not forgiven us of our sins, where would we have been today?
When you forgive someone even if they’re not sorry, you let go of bitterness and you feel at peace.
When you forgive someone, it means that you won’t bring it up with others behind the person’s back for you no longer hold it against them. It also means that you won’t be bringing it up at every opportune moment with the person. It’s over and done, move on.
Even our King Jesus Christ had cried forgiveness from the cross. To think that God had not forgiven Jesus’s murderers!
If you’re holding onto something that is giving you a heartache, let go by forgiving. And remember: There is no love without forgiveness and there is no forgiveness without love.
Also, remember that forgiveness is free. There is no fee to pay in order to forgive someone.
*** Pictures and GIF via Google Search
* Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t mention the word, God.
* Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John and Jude contains only one chapter.
* Sarah is the only woman mentioned in the accounts of her death in the Old Testament.
* Adoption. Paul is the only New Testament author to use this word.
* David was on Mount Zion when he proclaimed that God is King.
* Psalms 14 and 53 are identical.
* Revelation is the only book that begins with a blessing on all who read, hear and keep the words written in the book.