Exacting Revenge

Revenge is sweet, or so they say. We plot and plan our next encounter and how we will get the jump on our enemy’s rude and spiteful behavior.

We set up a cycle of events in order to position our self to put our enemies in their place and to hurt them before they can hurt us. We despise them more with each breath we take.

Yet, revenge leaves us feeling empty. As Believers we even regret our display of ungodly behavior. Our vindictive and vengeful thoughts and actions take a toll on our spirit, and grieve the Holy Spirit within us (Ephesians 4:30).

It seems impossible to love our enemies. They taunt us, thwart us and stab us in the back every chance they get. We are willing to struggle with the concept of not hating them; but loving them is going a bit too far.

There is good news. We do not need to feel emotional affection to love our enemies, just a heart, which is surrendered to Christ.

When we love Christ more than we love our self, we can love our enemies with His Agape love. We grow to desire that our enemies will prosper and to experience the love of God, which we enjoy.

We can minister to our enemy’s physical, emotional, spiritual, financial and mental needs when God prompts us. He shows us opportunities to share His love with them.

God’s Word, which richly fills our soul, helps us to have meekness in order to walk away from the temptation to inflict revenge on our enemies (James 1:21).

God walks with us and in us through the dark night of our soul (Psalm 139:17-18). He rewards our faithfulness to walk in His truth. He roots us in His love and builds us up in His presence.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that vengeance is Yours and You will repay our enemies for their treatment of us. Help us to kill our enemies with kindness, pricking their conscience with our loving behavior toward them (Romans 12:20).

Soften their heart toward us. Show us the root of their feelings, which cause them to despise us. Use us to help them to heal from their wounds which cause them to bully us and others.

Cause their reasons for attacking us to diminish; and if nothing else, make them just walk away and leave us alone. In all things, help us to prosper even as our soul prosper when we follow Your will for our life (3 John 1:2).

Thoughts for the Day:
God establishes our faith in His faithfulness; and we abound in our gratitude to Him. – Colossians 2:6-7

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Help for Hurting People

Hurting people go in one of three directions: they clam up and become a loner, hoping to avoid any more pain; or they strike out like a bully, injuring others as badly as they are hurting inside; or they hate the pain they are inflicted with, and they never want anyone else to hurt as much as they do, so they help to carry someone else’s burden.

I have no idea what causes people to react in such different ways. Maybe their personality, or their inability to bear any more pain, or the example of others in their life, or an instinctive desire to help someone else will fuel their behavior. Regardless of their reaction, however, they all have one thing in common. They are wounded beyond the ability of their soul to handle any more pain.

Sometimes our anguish is so intense, that we do not want to admit it, even to our self; pain that we are afraid to verbalize, in fear that we will feel the ache all over again, or even more intensely than we felt it the first time. We may not even know or remember the incident, which inflicted this trauma. We may have disassociated from the event, so that we can forget it in the hopes of stopping the pain.

A good method of releasing this pent-up torment is to write about it on a piece of paper – to keep a journal in which we write truthfully and often. We allow our soul to express the cause of our pain and the profound feelings we keep buried deeply within our soul. There is no need to write a whole paragraph, a phrase or a sentence will do.

Reading it to someone else is your option, but not a necessity. Just one sentence is all we need, in order to diffuse the terrifying emotion, which is keeping us in bondage. If you do not remember the incident, then just list the negative emotions rampant in your soul right now: anger, bitterness, revenge, brokenness, depression, discouragement, hopelessness, etc.

Then, ask God to disclose the source of these emotions; to reveal the lies, which Satan planted in this experience; and then to express His truth about this hidden pain. God knows the end of our life from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He was there when we experienced this pain. He wants us to lay our pain at the Cross, and to ask Jesus to make us a new creation; so that He can care for us (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22).

Prayer:
Father God, it takes courage for us to go hunting in the recesses of the jungle of our mind. Weeds, vines and underbrush wall in our pain; and we will have to break through these barriers in order to expose the anguish all over again. Pour out Your love upon us as we embark on this journey. Pull out the splinters of pain that have festered over the years from neglect. Renew a right spirit within us and give us Your joy as our strength (Psalm 28:7, 51:10, 71:26, 94:19; Nehemiah 8:10). Then help us to help other hurting people to find freedom in Your love as well.

Thought for the Day:
As we draw nearer to God, we can resist the devil and he will have to run from us. – James 4:7-8
Read these three free chapters offering freedom from the debilitating pain: http://theophostic.com/page13051343.aspx

Behavior Does Not Define Us

I used to think I was a bad girl, because I occasionally did bad things. It took me years to come to the realization that I am a good girl, even though I do bad things sometimes. I did not realize that I am a separate entity from my behavior. I thought that my behavior defined me. I tried to earn my goodness by my behavior; then, when I failed, I felt utterly lost and worthless.

On a glorious day in February of my 18th year of life, God made real to me the fact that He bought me by the blood of Jesus and redeemed me by His Son’s resurrection (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:19). He came to live in me and He started the process of converting my carnal nature into the nature of Christ. He set my feet on high places (Psalm 18:33), and renewed my self-image to my true identity in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17).

I am no longer burdened by the notion that I need to be perfect in order to be loved. Father God, who created me, and Jesus, my Brother, who laid down his life for me, both love me unconditionally. I am not a mere mortal, but I am empowered and indwelt by the Spirit of the Living God (2 Corinthians 3:18).

I am not the person that I was at 18. Over the successive years of my life, God freed me from the tyranny of self-effort (Ephesians 2:8-9). He taught me that I am not a bad person, but I simply do bad things now and again. He is faithful and just, and He always offers me forgiveness for my transgressions at the very moment I repent of them (1 John 1:9).

We never have to allow satanic influences to condescend, criticize or bully us into thinking that we are “less than” we should be. We are actually complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). We are “more than” conquerors through Him, because He loves us (Romans 8:31-39). With Christ in us, we are lovable, interesting and sufficient individuals (Philippians 4:13) who are loved by the eternal King of the universe.

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for redeeming us and making us special and unique individuals in Your Family. You give us victory each and every day (1 Corinthians 15:57). We continually walk in Your love and bask in Your fellowship. Thank You that Jesus also loves us and gave Himself up for us, as a sacrifice to atone for our sins (Ephesians 5:2).
Thank You too that we are the apple of Your eye (Zechariah 2:8; Psalm 17:8).

Thought for the Day:
We are crucified with Christ and our flesh no longer lives, because Christ lives in us and freed us from our sins by His blood. – Galatians 2:20; Revelation 1:5