God’s people are and were always surrounded by enemies; people who are servants of the devil and therefore who have one goal:”destroy God’s people”. How easy it is for us to be filled with hatred toward these people. Yet God’s command comes to us in Matthew 5:44 & 45a, “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. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…..”
In order to answer the question. “How do you love your enemy?”, I would like to try to answer the question, “Why does God send us these enemies?” Surely God does not will for His elect to be destroyed by enemies; there must be some other reason.
God sends these enemies to try our faith. Through these trials, God’s people are not made weak but strengthened more and more in their faith and love for God. God brings His people closer to Himself when they become weary and makes them realize their full dependence on Him.
When we withstand these trials of our enemies God will richly bless us as He says in Matthew 5: 11 & 12, “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” We truly benefit from these trials. God takes evil and turns it to our profit.
Considering then that these trials strengthen us, how must we love our enemies? We must be very careful. Loving your enemies cannot be partaking of their evil ways and actions along with them. That certainly would be falling into the enemy’s trap. There is nothing the devil would wish for more, than to see God’s people become friends of the world. The devil’s will is strong! Put all your trust in God and flee from the enemy’s wicked ways.
True love for your enemy is praising God that all things, both good and evil, are used for the well-being and salvation of His people. True love for your enemy is witnessing to them by your everyday walk of life that we are children of the living God and that nothing, not even the trials and temptations of the enemy can separate us from that living God. True love for your enemy is also praying for them which persecute you, that if it be God’s will they may see their evil ways and turn from them.
The enemy think that by tempting and persecuting God’s people they will destroy them. But how wrong and ignorant they are! They are only digging their own graves and strengthening the elect.
Christ set an example for us when He showed that He loved His enemies while He hung on the accursed cross. He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” What terrible agony Christ must have been suffering and yet He forgave His enemies!
“How do you love your enemy?” Do you love them for the trials they bring upon you and forgive them as Christ did? Or do you love their evil ways and partake of those ways with them? Partaking of their evil ways is certainly a temptation for us as young people today. Pray for God’s guidance in these evil days. We cannot stand on our own. It is only with God’s guiding hand that we will be able to love our enemies as He has commanded us.
Let us remember that God’s truth is everlasting but the paths of the enemy will be destroyed in a moment. Stand fast in the Lord and love your enemies-your reward shall be great!