No matter what the situation, God is calling you to respond with love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and understanding.
Jesus put it this way,
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow. You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” – Matthew 5
“But what if…?”
A lot of situations spring to mind.
What about the bully in the school yard? What about the political mover at work that is undercutting you professionally? What about the drunk driver who killed a loved one? What about the criminal who broke the law? What about the times of senseless loss in war, or famine, or natural disaster? What about the faceless enemies of disease and death? The list goes on.
Does God truly mean that in every situation there is a positive response? And is God expecting me to use it?
Yes. God always responds with love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and understanding and to walk in His footsteps, cooperate with His plan, collaborate on His purpose, and fulfill His promises, you have to join Him in loving the people of the world.
Now, before you think that God is somehow endorsing defeat and weakness in the face of the enemy
Put this call to love in this context,
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16
God is not calling you to retreat in the face of the enemy, or love passively and ineffectually in the face of hatred and violence, or clear the way for disease or crime or loss.
God is calling you to overcome, to conquer, and to receive the victory that He is offering.
“I have overcome the world.”
Jesus was not suggesting that by giving in to an evil person you should give them their way and empower evil on earth. Far to the contrary, Jesus was explaining how to neutralize the threat and turn the tables on the enemy to achieve the ultimate victory.
Think about it.
If you are still standing after the first slap, offering the other cheek is evidence of your strength.
If you are sued and can pay out more than the value of the claim, it is evidence of your abundance.
If you are forced to carry a burden one mile, carrying it two is evidence of your stamina.
If you are asked to give and can give to the one who asks, it is evidence of your wealth and generosity.
Jesus was not proposing defeat. Jesus was calling you to victory.
God is empowering you to overcome the enemy in such a way that it will leave the enemy wishing that they were you, wanting to be like you, and asking how it is possible that you can respond in the way that you do.
The power of the positive response is that it not only defuses the immediate threat, it also inspires a new direction.
So, the next time you find yourself facing the enemy, ask yourself, “What would Jesus do? How can I love with strength and stamina? How can I show compassion with purpose? How can I forgive and restore what was lost? How can I show mercy with grace and understanding? How can I receive the victory that God has in store for me in this situation?”
“I have overcome the world.”
Every situation is a victory in the making. Every circumstance is a chance to receive super-natural blessings. Every obstacle that the enemy puts in your path is an opportunity to reveal the power and the presence of God.
If you respond to evil with evil, the enemy has won.
If you respond to disease with defeat, you are missing the opportunity to conquer.
If you respond to whatever comes against you with love, compassion, mercy, grace, and understanding then God is going to give you the blessing, the strength, the abundance, and the victory that He has in store.
Now, this approach is not without its challenges,
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.”
The enemy is going to come against you. The enemy is going to throw everything they have at you. The enemy is going to hate and corrupt and abuse and accuse and in every way possible find ways to bring you down.
But the fact is, when you respond to every situation, every circumstance, and every obstacle with love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and understanding, the enemy has no power over you and you cannot be defeated.
Victory is calling. You are an overcomer. You are a child of God, born on purpose, for a purpose. You have the strength to stand even when life slaps you in the face. You have the abundance to give beyond the expectations of the receiver. You have the stamina to go the extra mile and restore the lost and the broken. You have hidden reserves of love, grace, peace, and joy that cannot be compromised or cut off by the obstacles and the challenges that oppose you. You have the power to win every time you choose the positive response that God is offering.
So, the next time you find yourself facing the hard times, dealing with the downside, picking yourself up from apparent defeat, or feeling like this time you just don’t have a chance, remember that if you will respond with love, compassion, mercy, grace, and understanding the enemy won’t be able to stand against you because God is going to give you the ultimate victory and take you places beyond your biggest and best dreams.