We don’t have to look for evil. It’s all around us, and for some, unfortunately, evil has taken residence in their hearts. When they get hurt, they hurt back and don’t feel any remorse in doing so. They operate off of their intellect and feelings. The conscience can’t be pricked, and no alarm can be sounded when sin engulfs an individual.
Matthew 24:12 tells us, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” True love is absent when the heart is filled with evil. A person who doesn’t know God is a desperate one. He or she searches for a way to feel whole and complete, but of course, those of us anchored in Christ know that they’re on a fruitless journey. There is no hope, joy, love and peace apart from Jesus Christ. Nothing can take the place of a real relationship with our creator, maker of heaven and earth.
So, how do we respond when we encounter people who plot evil schemes and devise plans for our destruction? I’ll be the first to admit that my flesh causes me to want to get even, but thank God that I am not governed by flesh but by His spirit. (I have to remind myself often. 🙂 To respond in a way that’s pleasing to God, I have to access Him through His Word and prayer. He lets us know that the battle is not ours to fight, but His.
When others do wrong to us, it’s easy to spend days, weeks, and some even spend months and years in agony, fretting over how someone or something has ruined their lives. However, if we use the painful experiences we go through to allow God to show us ourselves, (really show us our need for the Savior), we can use these experiences to catapult us into a new level of spiritual maturity. We see how much we are in need of God’s grace and mercy. Recognizing our own need for His grace can open our hearts to forgive, get over it, and move on.
I was blessed to hear an anointed message by a phenomenal woman of God this past weekend at my church. Dr. Joyce Woods reminded us of something very important by saying, “The spirit that you feed within you is the one that will grow.” Do we want bitterness, revenge, and sadness to fill your life? I’d venture to say that nobody sane desires this. We want to have peace, joy, and love, so we have to sow these things, and we can’t give these things without right relationship with Christ. We have to discipline ourselves by meditating and studying His Word and by spending time in prayer. Of course, we can’t do good works to earn His grace, but he extends it to us freely, but there are things that we must do to build and nurture our spirit.
His grace does more for us than I can write here, but one thing it does for us is it give us the ability to go forward. We can’t measure His grace because it extends to infinity and beyond. There is nothing that is too hard to Him, and His grace covers all who are in need and ask for it. Nobody is above needing His grace, no matter how long we’ve been saved or in the church. Some people think that they’ve earned brownie points in heaven for the number of generations their family has been in the church or how many scriptures they can recite.
It’s very easy to identify people who are in right relationship with Jesus. They don’t condemn, retaliate, or ostracize. They show compassion, love, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them. As Christians, we shouldn’t look down on anyone, but we should always point others to Him. Ephesians 2:8 tells us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—no by any works, so that no man can boast.” When we understand that it’s only by His grace, we have nothing to act superior about or hold over anyone’s head.
Whatever we are going through—because we’re all going through something—we need to zero in on Him. He loved us enough to sacrifice His life for us. We are important to Him, and He wants us to depend on Him for everything. If there is someone that we need to forgive, God can give us forgiveness to go forward in Him. When we consider the grace that has covered us, we can forgive others more easily and love through whatever trials and difficulties come.
I’m praying that His grace gives you the power to grow and to GO!