November 8, 2023
The Bible Edge
Thank You Lord
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Lord, thank you for an enemy. Much of the Christian experience is contradictory to human nature. Loving an enemy is one such command. For a moment consider the benefits of loving the enemy, then perhaps thanking the Lord for them will be more allowable.
Has this thought ever passed through your mind? “If it were not for the hurt caused by an enemy, you would never fully appreciate the faithfulness of a true friend.” If a person never sees a sunrise, they would never appreciate the beauty of one. Same with a flower, a sunset, a newborn baby, a bride, on and on the list goes. If every person were the kind of friend we would wish them to be, if there were never any person who cussed us, hated us, departed from us, lied about us, and even intentionally hurt us, we would take those who did not do those things for granted. For example, having grown up in a heavily wooded and hilly terrain I never even considered the beauty of the area. But after living in an area where there are no tall forests and it is flat, when I visit the area of my childhood, I’m amazed at the beauty of the area. The same is true with an enemy. The hurt they inflict helps me to appreciate the faithfulness of those who never hurt me.
Another reason to thank the Lord for enemies is that we can better understand Him. After all, John 1:11 states: He came unto his own, and his own received him not. Not only did they not receive Him, in fact most became His enemy. Yet. He loved them, He blessed them, and He did good unto them. When we do likewise, we are only doing that which He did, we are most like Him when we love our enemies. After all, every person that comes to the Lord for salvation, grows in grace in Him, and carries out His teachings in service to others, starts out as an enemy. His army is comprised of those who once were opposed to Him yet were “won” to Him through faith.
A third reason to be thankful for enemies is that they humble us and drive us to our knees.
Another reason is that an enemy will keep us cautious.
Another is the opportunity to show the Lord our obedience to His command by replacing our will, what we want to do with His will, what He wants us to do.
With these reasons and probably more that the Lord will bring to your mind we should
thank Him for our enemies. Through them we experience the full range of human emotion and can relate to Him on a more personal and deeper level.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.