Dear Jesus, may I be still and aware of Your teaching as I sit with You in this Holy Now.
I know that My most difficult command for you is to love your enemies and pray for those who want to persecute you or do you harm. My child, that command may seem like an impossible task at times. Remember that I have told you to pick up your cross in order to follow Me. I never promised this path would be easy. So even when loving your neighbor is the last thing you want to do, take heart—you are not facing this alone. No matter how difficult your circumstances, remember that I have already overcome the world. And even this, most demanding of my instructions, is given out of concern for your heart. You see, when you love your enemies, you are participating in a supernatural act that doesn’t just change the very order and foundations of the world—it also changes you. (Overcoming the Hidden Trauma of Life)
You have heard Me say you should turn the other cheek when someone strikes you. That can sound nearly impossible at times. But it breaks My heart when this powerful teaching is used by religious people to justify exploitation. My words are not meant to keep you under the authority of abusive people. I want you to listen carefully and always remember that I never want you to stay in places or in relationships where you are being physically or emotionally harmed. My instructions are intended for your freedom and the well-being of your soul, My child.
My love will never threaten or diminish who you are! Understand the truth that you have eternal grace and power when you refuse to return one violent act with another. Walking away from violence, turning the other cheek transforms those moments and makes them holy. Through everything that was ever done to Me, I was always one word away from commanding legions of angels to come to My side. But I went through the worst physical and emotional violence anyone could experience because of My love not just for you but also for your enemies. I wanted to show the world that lasting change only happens through My sacrificial love. Nothing good ever comes from verbal and physical violence. When you have been struck on one cheek, standing strong and offering your other is an act of holy defiance. You are embracing the fullness of My resurrection power when you do that!
My child, in those difficult situations, you are a divine model of strength showing the entire world that the cycle of violence ends with you. You are acknowledging through the pain that you are more than just flesh and blood; you have overcome the world through Me. And if you face these difficult moments, remember that I am right there by your side. When your enemies strike you, they also strike Me.
When I command you to love your enemies, I am doing so out of concern for your soul. When you pray for your enemies, it may not change who they are, but it does reorient your heart, and it changes who you are on the inside. Through My eyes, you will begin to see how broken even the worst of your enemies are. You will discover compassion for them and their misguided way of life.
You are precious to Me, and I care deeply for you. When you trust Me for salvation, you are safe and secure in My hands. The secret to loving your enemies is found in your willingness to surrender to the power of My unconditional love for you . . . and for them. It will not be through your strength that you do this but through Mine.
The command to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you may feel like the most demanding of Christ’s instructions. But consider today how doing this can actually change your heart. Remember that this doesn’t require you to stay in a situation where you are being harmed or abused. It is actually about embracing the fullness of Christ’s resurrection power! So who do you need to be praying for today? In what situation do you need the strength to stand strong and turn the other cheek? How can your commitment to love your enemies change your neighborhood? How can you end the cycle of verbal or physical violence in your world?
Lord Jesus, be with me in the most difficult moments of discipleship, when I have to love people who potentially could harm me. Give me strength to trust You to protect me. Help me to see my enemies through Your eyes in all their brokenness, and give me the words to pray for them. Come close to me this day and fill me with Your resurrection power and love. Remind me I am safe in Your eternal hands. Amen.
May you boldly go forth knowing that Christ has conquered the cycle of violence in the world. May you pray for those who wish to harm you, and may you allow your heart to be transformed by the sacrificial love of Jesus. May you react with grace when you are wronged, turning the other cheek in the name of Christ.
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