Be Careful what you Pray for
by Catherine Powers, guest blogger
Isn't it always so wonderful, but at the same time so difficult sometimes to receive an answer to prayer? I have realized after a lot of soul-searching and encouragement from my wonderful husband to turn to the Word, that being treated horribly by someone I thought was a friend was actually an answer to prayer! After learning about what being meek was in the Biblical sense, I asked God to help me be more meek. He answered my prayer.
I was falsely accused by a 'friend' and was prevented from replying to her accusations or even to defend myself and, as terrible as that was, it was the painful push I needed to learn. To be meek is to be at peace with persecution. To not be offended when someone lies about you. To not repay wrong with wrong. To forgive someone when they don't deserve to be forgiven.
As I sought to find peace from the turmoil and pain, I was reminded in a big way how much God loves me. He loves me enough to teach me a lesson that hurts me to learn. It hurts so much to be thought of poorly when you know you don't deserve to be treated that way. But did Jesus deserve to be falsely accused? Persecuted? Murdered? No. But he endured all those things in meekness and silence for us. How miraculous and humbling is that? To be reminded so vividly of what Christ went through on our behalf? How blessed we are to be loved so much! (John 15:13)
It's a big step in learning for me. Not only to be taught such a difficult lesson, but to recognize and give the credit and praise to the One who deserves it. Sometimes we are so blind to the work of the Lord in our lives. How often has He worked something so good for us that we don't even know to thank Him? How often do we take God and all the blessings He bestows on us for granted?
Instead of allowing me to go on blindly, with no true understanding of what meekness was, God showed me that I was reacting the wrong way to persecution. It hurt, my heart broke, but I learned my lesson and am so happy that I learned because I know that God chastened me because He loves me (Job 5:17, Revelation 3:19). I am His child! "But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons" (Hebrews 12:8).
Now my next challenge is to be zealous and turn away from being proud and angry. I was reacting with pride and was/am shamed by it. "When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom" (Proverbs 11:2).
Some other verses that helped me through:
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience" (Romans 5:3).
"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" (Matthew 5:44).
"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" (Romans 12:19).
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19).
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2).
Of course there are many other passages that could encourage and teach me, but those are the ones that came to mind when I was struggling with my pride, fighting my fleshly desire to be proven right and to have justice. But God is the only one who is just. And arguing with someone who is lost and blind to the truth is casting pearls before swine. How could I expect anything other than to be “rended” as Matthew 7:6 warned me I would be?
If a friend or family member refuses to hear a truth you give them in love, but turns and rends you in anger, remember who it is you are fighting for and rest in Him. “And I said, Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest" (Psalm 55:6).
Thank God for teaching me and giving me His peace! (Proverbs 12:1, John 16:33).