Read Psalm 27-28
The story is told of a farmer in a Midwestern state who had a strong disdain for “religious” things. As he plowed his field on Sunday morning, he would shake his fist at the church people who passed by on their way to worship. October came and the farmer had his finest crop ever–the best in the entire county. When the harvest was complete, he placed an advertisement in the local paper which belittled the Christians for their faith in God. Near the end of his diatribe he wrote, “Faith in God must not mean much if someone like me can prosper.” The response from the Christians in the community was quiet and polite. In the next edition of the town paper, a small ad appeared. It read simply, “God doesn’t settle His accounts in October.”
From time to time we are going to bump into people who are "enemies of the cross of Christ" (Philippians 3:18). As a result they may become antagonistic towards us. How should we respond? I think the opening illustration is a great reminder that God will ultimately settle the score when Jesus returns. And so we don't need to fight our enemies. As we see in Psalm 27-28, David knew that it would be God who could right all wrongs. And so his enemies couldn't rob him of joy. You see this joyful confidence he had in God in Psalm 27:6: "And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joys; I will sing and make melody to the LORD."
So what role do we play in dealing with our enemies? As New Covenant Christians, Jesus tells us in Luke 6:27-28: "But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you." No easy task to love our enemies. But Jesus says how... do good to them, bless them and pray for them. Who knows, perhaps as a result they will come to know Christ and become your brother or sister instead of your enemy. But even if they don't, it will keep your heart from bitterness. And justice will be served when God settles the score some day.
Is there an enemy in your life (or at least someone who's make life difficult)? If so, how could you respond to them this week in light of today's devotional?
It's been said that bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping it will hurt your enemy. And course, it only hurts us when we hold onto bitterness. Do you need to release some bitterness to God today? Will you?
Prayer for the day: "Father, thank you that you are just and will right all wrongs in the world. Help me overcome my enemies this week. Give me strength to love them, bless them, do good to them and to pray for them. I once was an enemy of the cross and you forgave me from my sins through Jesus' death and resurrection. Thank you God. Help me to forgive like you forgive. In Jesus name, amen."