Friday, August 07, 2009


I have been writing in the last several post about trusting God in the midst of trials. The outcome to that is "joy" that James refers to in James 1:2. My second question is, how do you get past what others think of us? We are all human and none of us like it when people talk behind our backs or when we are not liked. There are numerous examples in Scripture of this but what does Scripture say in how we are to deal with it when it happens?

Romans 12:14 says to "bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." The word "bless" means to speak well of. The word "curse" refers to wishing eternal ruin on a person. It is equivalent to saying, "Go to hell." Paul is saying we are to always speak well of others, especially those who cause us great trouble and harm and never wish that God would repay their evil deeds by sending them to hell. Jesus said it another way: "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Mat.5:44). The problem, though, is it is not our nature to forgive, love, and speak well of those who hurt us. James recognizes this when he says in James 3:10-11 that the tongue blesses "our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way." One minute we are worshiping God and the next wishing harm to those who harm us and James says this is inconsistent with who we are. God made all of us in His image and therefore when we speak against someone we are striking out against His image. So what should be our response then? Maybe another question is, "How do we set aside the feelings that many times control and overwhelm us and not strike out against someone? Jesus already gave us the answer in Matthew 5:44. He said to "love" and "pray." You say, "But I don't love them, how in the world can I pray for them? All I desire is that they hurt as much as they have hurt me." The next word is to "forgive." In order to love someone you have to "forgive" them when they wrong you. The word "forgive" means to "release." When you forgive someone, you are "releasing" them of any debt you think they owe you. You say, "That is so hard!" Yes, it is hard but it doesn't erase the fact that we are to do it. In fact, there is one thing we can do to help us when we're struggling with unforgiveness, it is to remember what each of us did to Jesus on the cross. Jesus went to the cross because of our "offenses" and "transgressions." Isaiah 53:5 says, "But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities." Everytime when we're struggling with something someone says about us or with something someone does to us, we should remember that we all have done this over and over to Jesus.

So, what am I saying in all of this? We have to transfer our feelings, desires, hurts, frustrations, etc. to His control. We have to stop holding on and relinquish all control to Him. Is it even possible? Yes. Is it difficult? Yes. But God is able to do this in us as we surrender to Him. So, before you criticize your situation, pray and ask God for the wisdom you need in this situation. Also remember that in this trial He is not going to give you more than your able to bear (see 1 Cor.10:13). And finally, remember that He "gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to [you]" (Jas.1:5).

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