I went to Bible Gateway this morning, and read the verse of the day:
Verse of the Day
[ Love Your Enemies ] “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:43-45 ESV
Do you know which part of this verse stood out to me? The last half of the last sentence: …and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. It took me back to my Adolescent Psychology class my sophomore year of college, where my professor said something like it does not rain on one roof alone. This really got me thinking about blessings and tragedy, and why good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. Being “good” does not mean life will be easy and free from tragedy.
Being “good” does not mean blessings will flow freely. Even when I am being my absolute best, I am still not “good enough” to cleanse myself from sin, to be holy enough to be in the presence of the most holy God.
If I am to love my neighbors AND my enemies, I need Jesus. Those enemies, the ones who hurt you over and over again, who seek to see you fail, yeah, those are the ones Jesus is talking about in this verse. LOVE them. My strength alone to love them will fail me every time. So I pray for them. I pray for God’s strength to allow me to love them.
In the midst of the ups and downs of life, I am reminded that no matter what, I am the Lord’s. He gives me strength to do all things through Christ. (Philippians 4:13). What He calls me to do, He will equip me to do. If He calls me to face a downpour of tragedy (which He has before), He will give me the strength to withstand the storm. If He chooses to allow me to face a downpour of financial blessing, He will give me wisdom and discernment on how best to share the blessing. If He asks me to find the blessings in the mess of a storm of turmoil, He will give me eyes to see.
In the midst of chaos and tragedy, there is something amazing about facing it as a Christian. There is hope. There is peace. There is eventually the revealing of the blessing buried within the mess. James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” This is my hope when the rain comes. To His truth I cling.