Can I Really Overcome Hatred?

I love the way the Lord works! I am always aware that whatever scripture he leads me to study, God has picked it out on purpose. And as for you, reading this right now, I believe that God has also lead you to it for a reason.

This morning, I told my Father that I am very unhappy with the way I am reacting to the fighting and hatred that is happening in the world today. I cringe at the horrific atrocities taking place. It angers me that newscasters and newspapers actually headline them in the spotlight everyday, giving these murders the recognition that the don’t deserve.

I asked God to show me how to handle my behaviour, emotions and thoughts and he led me to 2 Peter 1:1-8.

[1] Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
[2] Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
[3] According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
[4] Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
[5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
[6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
[7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
[8] For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As I read each verse above, (keeping in mind, the reason why God had led me to these particular passages) many different emotions zipped through me. I could feel my entire body and heart tightening and hardening. God wants me to love these enemies! How?

I know that, as a Christian, I am to love everyone! I want to love others the way Jesus does for me but sometimes it’s hard to keep a open heart, especially in these days and situations. If I am truthful, I don’t even want to like the people (and perhaps their entire race) because of the horrific things they are doing to innocent people.

At this point in my writing, I took a deep breath, prayed for peace and guidance. Then together, the Lord and I dug in and broke the scripture down into smaller parts, to find out why He led me (and you) to these particular verses.

Simon (Peter) the apostle, is telling the people that God has already given Christians (believing Jews and Gentiles) his greatest and most precious gifts: faith and righteousness. We gain these gifts by knowing Jesus through his work on the cross.

All Christians can know God on a certain level, however, to gain better knowledge of Him we need to be reading the Bible, talking to God and being around other godly people.

Peter continues by saying “And besides this” (referring to faith, righteousness, free salvation and eternal life) God will give us even more. However, the next set of gifts (qualities) that God will give us will require an whole-hearted effort on our part!th

Giving all diligence – (watching over, supervision) Diligence will help us to pay attention to what we are doing, thinking, and behaving. When we give due diligence, we will grow in the Lord.

Faith – We must be content to know and believe that Jesus is our Saviour. We must have faith that even though we have never seen God or Jesus, they are who the Bible says they are and that the Word of God is absolutely true. If something is happening in a way we deem bad, there is a reason for it and so we can relax. God gives his children the ability to have that kind of faith in him and in his ways.

In verse 5, Peter says that we must grow in virtue (high moral standards). In today’s world, it is becoming harder to remain virtuous. However, Peter tells us; that God has given us virtue, we just need to pick it up, put it on and use it.

A Christian CAN behave in a virtuous manner that shows we are different than others. NOT with a “better than you” attitude, but by showing a reflection of who God is and how he can work in us.

Knowledge – God has given each of us the ability to gain knowledge of him. We need understanding of what the Bible is teaching us. It doesn’t do us any good to read the Words of God and not understand them. That’s why he has placed people (Pastors, Sunday school teachers, the Church etc.) in our lives who can help us, teach us, lead us and guide us, as we grow in the Lord. We also need to study and spend some alone time with God. Knowledge is the key to understanding.

Temperance – We need self-control. There are many things we would like to say, act or do that we know we shouldn’t, but we may do them anyway. Have we lost the method or desire of restraint?

We need temperance (self-control) in so many ways. Addictions, for instance, can be seen as lack of self-control. Sometimes our anger can become an addiction. Are we allowing the people or situations of today to beat down our God given gift of temperance? By leaning on the Lord and using self-control, we can overcome.

Patience – Patience is a hard one for many people. We must have the patience to stand in faith, knowing that the Lord is with us at all times. We need to keep our faith that God has everything under control. He will give us the patience to get through whatever is happening in our lives but again, we must pick up the “patience” and put it on. God will only do so much and then it’s up to us to do our part. A good way to wear patience is to remain happy in all circumstances. Smile and wait with patience for whatever has to happen, to happen.

Godliness – If we are to truly love God then we need to have godliness. We need to have a reverential fear of the Lord, that is; to always be in awe of the Lord. Having godliness comes from within and shows outwardly.

Brotherly kindness – It is important to join a church and have Christian friends. We need to have brothers and sisters in the Lord so that we can grow in our faith. By having a relationship with others members of the congregation, we can help and love one another in times of troubles and can lean on each other when we feel weakened in our faith and can rejoice along side of them in the good times. People who know and love the Lord can give us a different type of love and support than those who do not know Him.

Charity – Charity takes form in many different ways. As a Christian, it is our duty to love all mankind, yes even those who persecute us. It is our duty to treat everyone with kindness and love. It is our duty to give love, provide help, not be selfish, but to give willingly to all who need help and to pray for everyone, especially those living in sin. Charity can be seen in a missionary’s life. Some go into situations, knowing the dangers they face but are willing to serve God, regardless to the danger.

God is not saying to let others walk all over us, but to pray for them to change and asking that in the change they might see the error of their ways and come to see the true light of God, through Jesus.

Whether we are in a foreign land or in our own homes, it is our duty to live in a way that shows God working in our lives and to tell others of God and His son Jesus.

Gracious Father,

I know that the time of this world is winding down to a close and that each day the events we see happening, are things you said would have to take place before the end.

I know God, without a doubt, that you alone are in charge and have total control. I understand that the horrors we see now are brought on by Satan and they have a place in the larger scheme of things.

However Lord, when I am watching the news, my heart automatically turns hard with hatred towards the people and situations that are happening today. I find it hard to keep my heart in a loving state when I hear of beheadings, rapes, murders and bombings, especially when innocent people are involved. Each time I see or hear about another incident taking place, I feel my anger growing.

I ask you Father to help me. I know that to hold any emotion not based in love, is a sin and sin comes from the enemy. I confess Father that I am holding a lot of sin: anger, resentment and many times even hatred. And worse than that, at times I hold judgment towards an entire race, many of whom are truly innocents.

Lord, I can feel myself slipping away from you as satan slowly creeps into my being through this anger and hatred. I need your help so that I can live a godly life, especially now, when sin is growing rapidly and wickedness runs rampant.

I come before you right now asking for forgiveness. I confess to you, that my heart is hardened against these enemies and their ways. I confess to you that voicing my anger sometimes give me a “way to blow off steam”. I confess that when I see a person of a particular race, my heart goes cold. I confess to you that in all of these situations (and more), I cannot and do not let Jesus been see in me. I am so sorry Lord that I let you down and I repent of these sins.

I ask that you would forgive me, cleanse me and then teach me how to be worthy of living a life of diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity, in all situations, whether I deem them good or bad.

I now consciously accept your forgiveness and grace Lord. I thank you for loving me so much that you can and have forgiven me and allowed me a clean start.

Father, please tell me how I am to love the people who are causing so much pain and loss to others. His answer…

As a Christian, hold firmly onto Jesus and stand solidly in Him and in love, regardless of what I am seeing taking place in the natural world.

I am to live in a manner that pleases God, despite what my earthly situations may be.

I am to pray fervently for ALL of my sisters and brothers (including those of different colours and races). It is difficult to keep a hardened heart when I am praying for them!

And I am to remember: If, as a Christian, I don’t set an example of the goodness of God, then who will?

Thank you Lord, for revealing to me the ways in which I can lean on you during these last days of satan’s rule of our world.

Thank you that “through Jesus Christ who strengthens me” I can truly pray for those that I would actually want to curse.

Thank you that you will help me to stay above the hatred. Please have the Holy Spirit convict me right away, if I fall short. Please have him immediately encourage me to repent and make things right. I know that if my hatred were to continue to grow, I would be of no use to you.

Thank you for keeping my feet firmly planted on the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you that “His strength in me” will be seen, in all situations, enabling me to outwardly bless and confess the name of Jesus.

I thank you for leading me to this scripture as it has empowered me (as always) to know you in a deeper sense and will help me to live an honourable life serving you, when and wherever you need me.

In the name of my Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen
Hallelujah

hallelujah

Following Jesus’ Example

Colossians 3 12-13

How often do we hold anger? How often does someone ask for our forgiveness and we want to hold onto the anger? Have you ever asked for someone’s forgiveness and they turn and walk away from you?

That’s exactly the type of problems that Paul was writing in his letters to the Colossians. He was explaining that as one of the apostles, he had been given the assignment to speak to the Gentiles about God’s love for them.

Paul writes that they the Gentiles, are also considered to be God’s beloved and they have the same holy calling that the Jews have.

When Jesus walked the earth, he lived by certain attributes. Mercy, kindness, humbleness, meekness and longsuffering were just a few. He taught by example and wanted the apostles and saints (believers) to live by them and to go out into the world and teach others to live in the same way.

So here we find Paul writing to the Colossians with the same lesson that he would tell Christians today. We are God’s chosen and as such we are to live in the ways of Jesus. It’s important that we show others that indeed we are somehow different (from the non-believers) and we are to help them to “have what we have”, that is the love of Jesus.

Mercy

When someone is spared from judgement or harm.

To be like Jesus, we must have bowels (lots of) compassion to give to others. We must find our mercy and forgive others, regardless of the situation. Just as Jesus does!

Kindness

Compassionate and generous.

Jesus had compassion and was kind to all he met. He demands that Christians hold the same value.

What is humbleness of mind?

We should not have pride nor be arrogant. We can be the peacemakers if we walk in the spirit of the Holy Ghost, and not in our own strength.

Meekness

Strength under control.

Some people may look at meekness as a weakness but if you’ve ever lived in meekness you would have found that a lot of strength is used to remain meek.

Longsuffering

Bearing injuries or provocation for a long time; being patient; and not easily provoked.

Forbearance

Is holding back or restraining ourselves from doing something that would be a normal thing to do. It is controlling oneself when provoked. Perhaps showing patience.

Forgiveness

There are two types of forgiveness that appear in the Bible: God’s pardoning of our sins, and our obligation to pardon other people sins.

Forgiveness consists of wiping the slate clean: not to seek revenge (because our heart should no longer be holding anger). Whether someone comes to us asking for forgiveness or we are the ones doing the asking, forgiveness is not given because it’s deserved, but because it’s a gesture of love and grace.

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The above are just some of the attributes that Jesus wants us all to have. As his children, we should be walking each day in the footsteps that Jesus left for us to follow.

Some people may find it hard, at first, to let go of the anger. Colossians 3:15 speaks of letting the peace of God rule in our hearts. Perhaps my post on June 5-2015 in the file “Thanksgiving/Gratitude” would help someone who is holding anger and doesn’t know how to let go.

Just remember, we are all at different stages of our learning and growing. Each day, as we follow Jesus, we will find it easier to follow in His ways.

The important part of the process is to talk to God, our Father, and ask him for help.

Father in Heaven,

I am so very blessed to be your child. You have chosen me, I am your elect. You are asking me to have mercy, be kind, be humble, be gentle and forgive in the ways that you always been with me.

It is my job, as your child to love! Love you, love myself, love others.

The attributes spoken in this scripture are to remind me of the way you lived, while as a man on this earth, and the example you set for us to live by.

Thank you Father for teaching me by example. I ask that the Holy Spirit would lead me, guide me and encourage me, so that I can be more like Jesus.

In the divine name of Jesus, I pray.

Amen

I Will Praise the Lord Forever

Psalm 34:

[11] Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
[12] What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
[13] Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
[14] Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
[15] The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
[16] The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Praise-Dont-Feel-Like-It

David is calling the people to come and listen to him while he speaks of the true God. He wants only the people who are open to hearing what he has to say.

There was so much idol worship and heathenism in the area that David wanted to talk to those who’s hearts , minds and souls had not been totally lost to evil. He wanted to talk only to people who were really ready to listen.

David wonders aloud, why anyone would choose to live an evil life in misery, when they could be enjoying a happy life, living in the Lord.

David is calling for the people to turn away from evil. He’s looking for those who want a better life, those who are willing to change their ways, to seek righteous and peace.

He is saying that the true God keeps his eyes on those who are living a life of peace.

Those who follow the Lord, are told, that they will be seen by God and his ears will be open when they cry out to him.

But to those who do not change their ways and prefer to stay living with their evil, God will not listen to them.

At their death, the anger the of Lord destroys the evil ones and their names are wiped out of existence forevermore.

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Heavenly Father

Thank you that evil cannot be near you. Thank you that one day believers will live in Heaven with you and there will not be any evil at all.

I pray for all those people who live for idols. For their eyes to open and that they will see the one and only true God, you, before it’s too late for them.

How do I know that you are the one true GOD? Through your Word. I know others have their own religions and Bibles, so how can I rely on my Bible being the true one? Because so far all of the prophecies that are in the Testament have been accomplished as said. The only prophesies left to come are the ones that will be fulfilled during the last days. If that is not enough in itself, because the Bible has been the number one seller of books for hundreds of years now. Because the Bible has outsold all other books. Because I know you and I have seen with my own eyes the miracles you have done in my life and others. Because JESUS was a real person on earth and he is the Son of God and the best reason of all, I know that I know, that I know. I believe in you and in the words of the Bible by faith.

Thank you Lord, that even though I have never seen you, I have the faith that you are who you say you are and that everything the Bible tells me I can believe, learn from and rely on.

I can rest that you are watching over me each and every day. I can rest that my name will be written in the Lambs book of life and that upon my death, my name will be remembered.

Thank you Father that you love me so much.

In the name of your son, JESUS CHRIST, I pray.

Amen.

Having Peace Even When Faced with the Enemy

Psalm 70 1-4

When studying this scripture I found that some authors thought this particular verse was written by David. Others are sure it was written by someone else and perhaps included in this Psalm as an example of the idea David was trying to make. Some thought the ideas were copied from Psalm 11 and others from Psalm 40. Some believed that it was a Psalm of remembrance, used when people were going through times of trouble and needed to remember the promises of God.

Regardless, the author is praying, asking for God’s help. He knows he can’t stand up to the enemy by himself. He calls out and reminds God of his promises…”Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee:”

Even though, at this point in time, the enemy is still coming towards the author, he continues to pray in faith, and keeps steadfast in his belief that God will save him in the “perfect” way.

I believe that as his prayers grew so did his peace. Because of his total trust and faith in God, he then turns his prayers to the enemy chasing him.

He understands they don’t know the true God. He prays for them to come to the realization that his God is the living God. He asks that the enemy should be shamed by the refusal of believing and for their eyes to be opened and have that “ah ha” moment of knowing that this God is real and they too need him in their lives.

He continues in prayer and asks that those who are awakened to God and are ashamed, now turn from their wickedness and bow down before God.

He knows that once they find salvation and God’s love, they too will rejoice and praise the Lord, crying out “Let God be magnified” forever more.

ifyourloadistooheavyDivine Lord,

Throughout the centuries, you have always been with all of your children. You are aware of exactly what is happening in our lives, at any given moment.

Like the author, I pray that during the times when I am faced with the enemy (people or situations), that I too can stand in faith and in peace; so much so that I am be able to take my eyes off my own problems and place it onto others.

On a daily basis Lord, help me to pray, for my brothers and sisters in Christ; for them to remain strong in their faith. Help me to pray for the non believers to have their eyes opened to the glory of the Lord. I pray for that “aha” moment to come to us all.

Thank you Father for always being with me, and for your love and care. Remind me Father that because you can see the bigger picture, you can solve it in the “perfect” way, which will not necessarily be the way I expect.

Thank you that I am counted as one of your children. I will continuously pray for all people, especially those who have yet to come to you.

In the wonderful name of my Lord, Jesus Christ,

I pray.

Amen