Matthew 10:31 (KJV) 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Fear not! Those are very reassuring and comforting words from our loving and beloved Lord and Savior. He told us that as His followers, we will be treated extremely badly; that’s for sure. For others who don’t have a personal, loving, saving relationship with Him, that’s really dreadful. But for us, He also gave the reason not be scared: we are very valuable to Him.
We have a mission to accomplish. Our mission involves people. We are sheep among wolves. And the pack of wolves that devoured our Master will do us no less. We are rejected, accused, and some of us have been arrested, and punished unjustly. We are betrayed, at times, even by those very close to us—hard to believe—but it happens. We are hated by the rich, famous, and the powerful influencers of culture.
We don’t cower to and withdraw to fruitlessness. God turns our worst experiences to great opportunities. God has worked through them for those in high places to see and hear the witness of God-loving and neighbor-loving people. We see how real God is, how present He is, how wise and powerful He is. So we continue to lovingly shine His light. We hear from Him in the silence of our “date;” we boldly shout His words “from the housetops.” Others don’t like what they hear. They try to harm us. But they can only touch our bodies. None can touch our eternal beings. Only God can do that, and we’re happy because the only One Who has the power to decide where we spend our eternal destiny—He Who values the sparrows—values us way much more, loves us, and cares for us. With all that, why fear?
We continue to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons. We freely receive; we freely give. We’re threatened with prison and sword; we respond with the gentle force of God’s love—nothing to fear with that.
Psalm 118:7 (KJV) 7The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.
No matter how hard our problems, no matter how numerous and how powerful our enemies are, we don’t fear. We believers no longer live for ourselves but for Him Who greatly loves us and Who mercifully saved us. We’re for Him; He’s for us. He helps us and will never fail doing so.
We’re sincerely committed to living uprightly; we strive to walk faithfully before our Lord. We don’t selfishly pick and choose which part of His Word we would believe and obey. Loving our enemies is not an easy task, but we do. Given a choice, we would rather not have enemies in the first place. But we can’t deny the obvious reality and increasing presence of evil. No matter how much we treat everyone lovingly, there are those who see us and treat us as their enemies.
Because we choose God; because we abide by His ways; because we refuse to be a part of lawless and godless systems, we experience indifference, disapproval, hatred, and even violent attacks from lawless and godless people. That’s natural—not pleasant—but that’s the truth. What’s interesting though is how we see our loving desires and prayers come to fruition. They get saved; we see them undergo even drastic and unbelievable but genuine changes.
Praise God, He can make friends an families out of our enemies. The moment they turn away from their godless ways, place their full dependence on our precious Lord Jesus for their salvation, and bow their hearts in surrender to Him, they become children of God—our spiritual brothers and sisters. But you may ask, “What about those who decide to continue in their crooked ways: what about those who continue to attack you?” We’re neither worried not afraid. Our victorious Lord has made us overcomers—more than conquerors.
Exodus 23:4-5 (KJV) 4 If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. 5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.
God’s instruction has to do with dealing with enemies; it wasn’t a command not to have enemies. It didn’t explain about the existence or non-existence of enemies; enemies were a given. They will have enemies. But they didn’t have to act the usual way enemies act toward each other. For the enemies to experience something bad would have naturally been a joyous occasion for the opponent. But they were not to bask in their enemies’ tragedy. Enemy or not, they were to help them alleviate their misadventure.
This is a call to be different; this is a call to fight our instinctive fleshly responses. Naturally, generally, commonly, we desire our enemies to suffer – as much as they can, as long as they can. Some of us would prefer them to “cease to exist” in any way, form, or fashion. The sadder they are, the happier we are; the worse life deals them, the better we feel. As God’s people, we are called to love our enemies. That calls for a totally different set of thoughts, emotions, and actions; a totally counter-natural way of responding to situations. No, we ought to not laugh at our enemies’ tears. Simply, no matter what, no matter who, we ought to always be sincerely nice. And for us to be nice to our enemies, either we experience total inner transformation that we would no longer have any kind of ill-feelings toward those who do us terrible wrongs, or resolve and commit to always act in love no matter how contrary we feel.
Our loving God, please strengthen us to be more like You Who loved us even when we were still sinners, when we were still Your enemies, in Jesus’ Name, amen.