When was the last time you actually thanked God for saving you? When was the last time you expressed profound gratitude and appreciation for delivering your soul from the guilt and punishment of sin? If it’s been a while, then take the time right now to stop and thank Him. But as important… when was the last time you told someone else about Jesus? Isaiah 52:7 exclaims, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!” Telling someone the Good News of Jesus isn’t hard if you can imagine it this way…you’re simply a beggar telling another beggar where they can get bread.
Bad things happen to good people…for we live in a troubled and broken world where peace and unity is hard to find. But that doesn’t mean we have to cave in to all the ugliness around us. God has placed you on the earth at this particular time in history to make a difference…for you to be an influence, rather than being influenced by the wicked around you. Stand strong in the face of evil…pray without ceasing…tell others about Jesus.
I think as Believers, we all smugly think that if we had lived during Biblical times and had witnessed the miracles and teachings of Jesus…we would of immediately realized He was the Messiah. But would we? Humanity saw Him as just another man…indeed, a good man who taught with unheard of authority and passion, but still just a flesh and blood human like the rest of us. Would we have been able to recognize His divinity…when the incarnate Jesus Christ…the embodiment of God took on human form and lived among us? I would hope and pray so.
Some later manuscripts show this verse as saying, “Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you.” Either translation is a tall order to fill. For we are a people who retaliate at the slightest notion that we’ve been wronged. Taking revenge and repaying evil with evil is touted and even celebrated in today’s social media. But this verse tells us to do the very opposite. And our example should be Jesus, who in I Peter 2:23 demonstrates, “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate, when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” Taking the high road in the face of cruelty may be a clenched fist, gritted teeth type of grace under pressure, but allowing God to fight your battle is worth it in the end.
Discipline is earnest correction which leads to education. As parents, we always wish our kids wouldn’t have to learn things the hard way. So training and instruction is for their benefit, not us just trying to be mean. The same goes for our Heavenly Father. We learn much from adversity…we discover just how strong we are, and are able to realize the true depth of God’s love and mercy for us . Proverbs 13:24 says, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Remember that our loving and ever watchful Heavenly Father is wanting only the best for us when hardships head our way.