December 13, 2017

Jesus is our faithful peacemaker . . .

Someone called me yesterday in great anguish. A person close to her had verbally attacked her, viciously unkind and accusing her of things not true. My friend felt as if a demon had attacked her, but she was unsure and wondered what she had done to deserve this.

I’m certain she had done nothing, but rather than focus on the attack, she needed to focus on the remedy. We talked about the loving power of God and how the Holy Spirit never stabs us. Even when He convicts us of sin, He does it with a hug and with clarity. The enemy always accuses with fuzziness, making us uncertain and fearful. God is faithful; He does not treat us with accusations and a mean spirit. I encouraged my friend to pray for this other person. This would help her avoid an attitude of retaliation. It is the enemy that promotes strife and ruined relationships. Besides, in prayer God would help her know the best response.

Today’s devotional is about the faithfulness of God. It is good to be reminded that we rely on Him to help us through life’s puzzling and hurtful events.

“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:10–13)

The psalmist reminds us that we are prone to turn away from God. Like the ancient Israelites, we can even fake our faith and often rebel, yet God remains faithful:

“In spite of all this, they still sinned; despite his wonders, they did not believe. So he made their days vanish like a breath, and their years in terror. When he killed them, they sought him; they repented and sought God earnestly. They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer. But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues. Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not faithful to his covenant. Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again. How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert! They tested God again and again and provoked the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power or the day when he redeemed them from the foe . . . .” (Psalm 78:32–42)

I know that God will take care of my friend and bring something good out of this for her. Trusting Jesus when another person turns against you is a difficult and challenging test, one that we cannot endure on our own. It is so important to cling to the faithfulness of God.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (Lamentations 3:22–25)

It is also good to remember just how dependent we are on the Lord. He chose us; we did not initiate or cause our salvation or our walk with Him. He began it and He will finish it:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3–6)
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)

My friend needs to guard herself from sinning as a backlash to this unexpected and unfair treatment, but even if she remains angry and retaliates, the Lord Jesus has it covered:

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1–2)

Jesus, because You cover the sin of the world, we also need to forgive those who sin against us. You died for the sin I commit, yet You also died for the sins people commit against me, against those I love. Forgiveness is a huge peacemaker. I pray You will bring peace to my friend’s heart and to the relationship between her and this other person who attacked her seemingly with no reason. You are our faithful Prince of Peace, and we need You for this and for everything else in our lives.

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