“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:43-4
Have you ever been betrayed by someone you hold dear, someone you trusted? How did you handle it? How did you recover? Listen to Bill Bright’s story of betrayal:
One early morning in 1967, a group of thirteen of my beloved fellow staff, whom I had discipled and to whom I had delegated great responsibilities, confronted me with an ultimatum: I was to resign the presidency of Campus Crusade for Christ, which Vonette and I had founded in 1951, or they would take over the movement. They declared that the entire staff of several hundred would follow their leadership.
That very night God awakened me at 2 AM with a message. I had learned to walk closely to our Lord and always sought to listen carefully to any impression I may receive from Him. I tried to live according to the promise of Philippians 2:13. “It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” In other words, whatever God tells you to do, he will give you the power to do, if you love, trust, and obey Him.
In obedience to His leading, I got out of bed, took my Bible, and went to another room. I knelt before God in prayer, “Lord, do you have something to say to me?” For the next two hours, He showed me not only the importance of loving those who had rejected my leadership, but also how to love them.
That night, I determined, with God’s help, to love each of these men who had been unfaithful to my trust whatever happened. As a result, I continued to love them then and still do to this day. God never allowed me to defend myself. In fact, He fought for me. While only six of these key men ultimately left the ministry, the Lord of the Harvest sent over 700 new full-time staff to join us that very summer.
You love others in the same way you love God. You obey His command to love Him and others, and you claim His promise that, if you ask anything according to His will, He will hear and answer. By faith and depending on His command and promise, you can love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Why it matters…
Oftentimes it’s hard for us to find love in our hearts for those who have hurt us. Yet this is the Lord’s will for our lives. If there is someone in your life who is difficult to love, remember that they, too, bear the image of God and ask Him to heal your hurt and show you how to love them well. Remember, this does not mean you have to trust someone who has hurt or betrayed you. We are called to forgive and to love. Trust, however, occurs over time and if the person earns it back.
Read God’s Word Today…
Romans12:9. “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.”
GOD, because You are love, I know You will help me love others.
Based on First Love by Bill Bright
©2019 Bright Media Foundation