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Friday, December 4, 2015

Pray for Those Who Persecute You (Matthew 5:44)

Been listening to Amy Grant's My Grown-Up Christmas List on repeat all day. Yesterday there was a mass shooting in Southern California. On the other side of the world, children ages 8-13 were writing out their Christmas wishes. No more war. I can go home again. Everyone would love each other. I want to be happy and not sad anymore. No one to die anymore. Peace. These children were living in a country not their own, longing for the war to be over so they could resume a normal life. I read their notes and I cried. I cried hard because children should never have to endure what they went through. They deserve innocence and happiness. Not this. Never.

I feel so helpless. Then I wonder how God must feel. If I can have such empathy, as a broken human being, imagine how our all-powerful Creator Father must ache as He sees the pain. This world is a very difficult place to live in. God cannot always intervene because Satan still controls this world and humans have free will to follow whom they choose. People die and children cry.

These are not easy situations to package up with a pretty bow of a cliche. I must wrestle with the horror of sin and the beauty of grace. I will cry but even my tears cannot compare to the tears of those who must experience the terrors. God keeps each of those tears in a bottle and He remembers.

I realized the other day that the greatest revenge we can exact on our most hated enemy is for them to know Jesus. Ironic, I know, but when they meet Jesus and accept His salvation and understand the sacrifice He offered for their freedom, I believe the depth of their sin will bring deep conviction. Then, like Paul, they will be the greatest missionaries for God this world has even known. So tonight, as I pray for those who suffer, I must ask the Holy Spirit to pray what I cannot naturally pray myself. Forgiveness for those who know not what they do, that they may know the One who does yet still extends mercy to all.

One day, hopefully soon, we will have that world Amy sings of. Where right will always win.

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