While recently visiting home, I found myself at a particular ministry setting where a lady, in the presence of others, retorted a sarcastic comment toward me, in response to a woman bragging on what the Lord was doing in my life. I must admit, I was taken aback somewhat by the person’s comment. Who would utter such a thing, I thought to myself?
As I left the particular place that evening, I was overtaken by the Spirit of God within my heart. A ray of thankfulness came over me for all that God had done for my life. 1.) Allowing me the privilege of rearing two wonderful children, who have blessed me with a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law who I love along with five beautiful grandchildren.2.) Living in a place I love! 3.) Serving with a ministry God has called me to that I adore! 4.) Encircled by Godly board members who love the Lord, as well as me, and who leads this ministry according to God’s Word. 5.) Working on my Doctoral education at one of the best seminaries in the world. 6.) Planted in one of the best churches in the Nation, where I have grown so much. 7.) Developing a ministry for Single mothers. 8.) Teaching Sunday school. (And the list goes on and on.)
The lady’s actions toward me have reminded me of past moments when I was encircled by like individuals. People who purposely pulled out chairs, with a goal of sitting me down and keeping me from being seen or heard. People who disliked me for being used by God to do extraordinary things.
The enemy often tempts me to ponder over hurtful memories to which he longs to use for destruction. Yet as he does, I find myself falling, once more, at the feet of Jesus. As I am ushered into His, “Throne room of grace,” my heart is transformed into His likeness.
In His Presence: I am granted His mercy and help in time of need.
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
In His Presence: I am reminded of the call on my life to forgive.
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)
In His Presence: I am filled with love toward the person who has offended me.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor. (Romans 12:9-10)
In His Presence: I am instructed as to how to deal with enemies. In His Presence: I am reminded that God is my protector and my defender. He will take care of all that concerns me.
The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged. (2 Timothy 2:24)
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:14-21)
In His Presence: I am reminded that I don’t have to seek the favor of man.
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10.
People are always going to try and stop us, mistreat us, make fun of us, and do harmful things from vengeful hearts. Yet as Christians, we must learn to bring those individual(s) (both non-Christians and Christians) to the “Throne room of grace,” where God can deal, reveal, restore, instruct and heal.
Written by: O’Shea Lowery