Posted by: glorifyhim1 | March 3, 2013

Overcomers

“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

(Romans 12:19-21)

What do we do when we’re talked about falsely or wrongly judged for the things we do? What do we do when we’re attacked for what we believe or when our beliefs are misrepresented? How do we react when well-meaning people, perhaps even those we consider as friends, say hurtful, mean things? How should a believer respond?

I don’t know about you, but my first inclination is to defend myself, to set the record straight, and perhaps even to mount my own counter-attack. However, as justified as I may feel to do so, this is not what Jesus taught. In our hurt or anger, it is often easy to forget remarks such as “Blessed are the merciful,” (Matthew 5:7); “Blessed are the peacemakers,” (Matthew 5:9); and “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44). Why? Why would Jesus want us to respond in a way that seems so counter to the way we feel?

Could it be that Jesus wants something more?

  • Does Jesus want us to trust our hurts and injustices to Him?

Paul reminded the Romans in the Scripture above: “’Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.’” Do we trust that He can handle our problem or do we fear that He won’t handle it the way we want Him to? Do we feel the need to try to help Jesus out? Could Jesus be hoping to see us put our faith in Him even when we don’t understand?

  • Does Jesus want us to reveal Himself to others?

How do we love our enemies? How can we bless those who curse us or do good to those who hate us? We can’t… it is humanly impossible. But with Jesus all things are possible. When we can smile in the face of adversity, disagree agreeably, show love and kindness to those who hurt us or attack us, it is not us, but Christ within us. Instead of others seeing our feeble attempts to justify ourselves or win an argument, they see the love of Christ reaching out to them. Jesus Himself stated to His disciples: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

  • Does Jesus want to do something in us?

Anger and wrath consume us and destroy us. As long as we argue and debate, and nurse our injuries and hurts, we can become hardened and bitter. Could Jesus want His love to not only reach out to others, but also to transform our lives? When we can release our hurts to Him and honestly seek to love others as Christ loves us, Jesus works in us to make us a little more like Him. We long for others to see Christ in us in order that they may come to know Him too.

  • Does Jesus want us to be overcomers?

As Jesus taught, and as Paul reminded us, we do not overcome evil with evil, we overcome evil with good. We triumph over evil, when we show mercy instead of revenge, when we seek peace instead of discord, when we let others see Christ and the fruits of His Spirit within us.

Could it be that Jesus loves us too much to see us destroy ourselves through anger, bitterness, and strife? Could it be that Jesus longs to fight these battles for us if we will only trust Him? Is it possible that Jesus wants to work a work in us, growing us, maturing us, and making us more like Him …and in the process revealing His love to others? And could it just be that Jesus wants us to live not in struggle and strife, but as true conquerors as we allow Christ to work in us and through us to help us become overcomers of evil with good.

 

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

(1 John 5:4-5)

 

 

 

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