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Stepping Stones: Persecution is Draining

Stepping Stones: Persecution is Draining
August 4, 2009 Lighthouse Network

Transformational Tip
I grew up in a home with a lot of negativity, judgment, and frequent efforts of emotional manipulation. I would get so angry and so much energy….physically, emotionally, psychologically… went into and was wasted on dealing with these situations. Fighting back in various ways, trying to understand why and where it was coming from, attempts to avoid it, “why me” attitude, all sucked so much life out of me that enjoying childhood was a difficult task for me. Many of us have people in our lives who have or want to hurt us. It ranges from a few hurtful words, manipulation, to lies, cruelty, vindictiveness, and all the way to physical abuse or worse. You have to ask yourself the questions…why me?, how do I make them stop?, what drives them? who are they serving?…who are they trying to make happy? Dealing with such people extracts huge amounts of energy in trying to defend ourselves and/or possible counter attack and retaliation or “getting even” efforts.Today, let God deal with your enemies. We do have a stewardship role and responsibility to address our enemies, but we go overboard. God promises to help the persecuted and bring judgment on those who treat others with cruelty. So focus your energy on what is going on in your heart and mind regarding your enemy. Remember, Satan is the real enemy, not the person. They are just getting used like you are at times by Satan. Pray for them and be on guard… put on the armor for the real battle. If you know someone who is being mistreated, slandered and being attacked by others, send them this devotional. Spread the Word of God to give hope and peace to those in need.

Prayer
Dear Father,
I come to You, Father, in need. I have people in my life who are hurting me, trying to do me harm. My anger rages at the injustice of this. My human natural reaction is for revenge…for getting even. I know this is wrong and against Your Word. I release my enemies into Your care. I pray as David did to “make my enemies be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away”Help me Lord to remember that it is not the opinion of others that I must focus on. Give me strength in the battle against the evil one who wants to use this persecution to pull me away from you, distort my lenses, and sidetrack me with stinky thinking. Help me see myself through Your eyes. I pray in the name of Jesus – AMEN!

The Truth
Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and buckler; arise and come to my aid. Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame; may those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay. May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away; may their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them.
Psalm 35:1-6
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Matthew 5:44

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