Gotta love sandpaper.

Matthew 5:43-45 says, “Your ancestors have also been taught ‘Love your neighbors and hate the one who hates you.’ However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil.”

Don’t we all love this verse? Lol. Recently I found myself in a bit of a not so fun situation. I won’t get into the details of it but I can tell you that I prayed for God to get the person. I know that’s not what we are supposed to pray and I immediately felt it and I was like, “I know, that’s not what I should pray but God just this one time…” I don’t know if you have ever been in a situation where you just wanted God to hit someone with a mild lightning bolt so that they would know they were messing with God’s kid. No? Ok, I’ll take one for the team cause I have surely thought it! But that’s the opposite of what we are supposed to do. God loves people and He calls us to do the same.

Our verse today tells us to love those haters who be hating. To bless those people who have been cursing you and talking behind your back and trying to destroy you. And to respond to those people who cause us to lose sleep at night by praying for them. So, I had to change the wording of my prayer to God. Adjust it accordingly and pray for them to be blessed. And pray that if they didn’t know Jesus that they may encounter Him and experience salvation. Not just for them but for their family and loved ones. The way I see it, if the devil uses people to come against me, the worst revenge I can have against him is to pray for their salvation and/ or for them to have such a strong God encounter that they will never be the same!

Job 42:10 says, “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.” Reading that verse all on its own may seem like it does not tie in with our theme but I assure you that it does. Job’s friends had misjudged him in the middle of his situation, they said some things about God which were not true and they added more grief and heartache to Job in the middle of his suffering. Job had every right to hold a grudge against them but we find him praying for those very people who added to his pain and suffering.

The verse says after he prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes… twice as much as he had before. Sometimes we stop ourselves from experiencing God’s double portion blessings when we hold grudges. Could it be that the breakthrough you are after may be on the other side of releasing someone you are holding a grudge against and praying for them instead? There is always a blessing and a reward when we do things God’s way.

Anger is a strong feeling but don’t ever allow your feelings get in the way of doing what is right. We must always put the word of God above our feelings or opinions. God’s word is living and active and it is powerful. If we want to see its power released in our lives, we must then be willing to do what it tells us to do. I believe we all have a lot of praying to do and a lot of wonderful things to start doing for those people who are like sandpaper filing away at our rough edges. When we start to love these people, it reveals our identity as God’s children.

Love and blessings,

Melissa Tsingano.

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