Last week I got a chance to talk with one of my good friends and we discussed the way sometimes the deepest hurt can come from fellow believers and that in the spirit of being your brothers keeper you try your best to mend fences and correct them to do better as revealed and expected in scriptures by God. If the church was perfect, it would have been a simple conversation of humility on the part of the one being talked to whereas the messenger too would exercise godly patience as they deliver and have faith that the brother they talked to had heard what they had to say and God had taken that seed and was nurturing it to grow and bear fruit of repentance in that persons heart. In my opinion that’s the way a “perfect “ body of Christ operates.
What happens when the brother that you have to approach is the leader of the church and they don’t seem to see the error in their ways what then?
How do you exercise faith for a place that was supposed to help foster and grow your faith?
The first thing that popped in my mind as my friend spoke was all the prophets that God had revealed a truth to them way before the people were ready or even willing to listen. Some of these prophets didn’t live to see their vision realized or prayers answered to fruition. For example Abraham did not live to see the promise land, Joel, Jonah,Moses, Paul just to name a few prophets who had clear revelations from God but even after tirelessly warning Israelites they didn’t live to see those people’s hearts seek repentance after acknowledging the error of their ways. This servants of God still chose to continue to pray and suffer for their beliefs.
One thing am understanding as I grow in my faith is just how powerful prayer is. There is no expiration to our prayers as long as there is a need for them they will cover us. An example is when Jesus Prayed In the Garden of gethsemane it was not just for the disciples of that time but for us too thousands of years later that prayer is still being answered. The same can be said of the promises of God that he reveals in our prayer time. Thousands of years later and descendants of Abraham are still increasing, he did give his son to ensure we have the ultimate route to the Promised Land. My advice to my friend was not to let her heart be hardened by the lack of response and rejection from those that deem her “unspiritual” for having such views rather to never cease fighting for their souls through prayer and respectfully tell those who were willing to listen because she has no idea how God has it planned or who her message was supposed to impact, be it the person she thought was intended or some unknown person to her who would hear what she had to say and impact his walk with God. Our work is to spread the gospel and have faith that God will help it grow in the hearts its meant to in due time.
In 1 peter 13-16,22-23, it drew a picture of how we can in such situations guard and direct our hearts when in an environments that are hostile to spiritual growth or dealing with individuals that cut and threaten the love and beliefs we have, It mentions that we are to be sober minded i.e to reject our personal ideals, experiences, emotions about how you think it would be best to handle that situation or how those that are sinning against you and God should react rather arm yourself by abandoning the human way of dealing with such situations where you think it’s an individual instead of the way the God says we are one and that if truly this person is hurting and sinning you are too. It’s not their problem but our problem and approach them the way you do to yourself when trying to deal with a sin in your life. It also mentions to be holy because God is holy. Choose to feel the pain for their souls as God does whenever sin rules our hearts, die to yourself preservation and embrace them with love by fighting for them and when they won’t listen pray dutifully hence making it a point not to forget them because they are a part of you. We are to be Pure because through Christ’s death we have been purified so if we are abiding by that we love everyone from a pure heart as though they had never wronged you attempting to love them as Christ loved us. Everyday is a new day to love from a fresh perspective leaving yesterday’s murk where it belongs in the past as Christ doesn’t carry our past transgressions against us.If they didn’t listen yesterday nothing is to stop it from today being the day they listen. Seek hope in tomorrow being the day they change or listen.
In 1 peter 1:24-25 reminds us that in the end everything withers but the word of God remains forever. When we choose to forget the sin of a fellow brother , we neglect we are connected and even though the pain they caused heals or goes away when they are gone the truth according to Gods word is that if that person is not walking with God their soul is lost for eternity. We lose too because they are family.
In 1 peter 2:13 talks of submission to authority, in 17 it says honor everyone not just those who deserve it and it continues to say love the brotherhood. Why did God chose to say Love the brotherhood? In 1 Peter 2:23-25 it states that Christ trusted his faith or walk and wellbeing in God and his judgements of those that wrong us. It’s not for you to issue judgement on those that do you wrong by discarding them or not loving them rather trust God to do that and if its leadership that you have a problem with let God deal with them and trust that God will protect and guide your/his people’s walk it was never up to the leaders to fully guide, they are just one of the ways Lord uses to communicate but there are many other ways God continues to work. If a part is broken he is aware and is fixing it and protecting the flock too. In the world he individually called us out of darkness and fought our battles he can surely save us from a corrupt fruit that threatens his flock. In 1 peter 3:13-14 it states that no harm can come to those that are zealous for what is good and even if we end up suffering for righteousness sake we are blessed
In 1 peter 5:5-6 it calls to us the flock to be humble toward each other so that God can grant us the grace to survive not just trials from the world, flesh but at times from each other. It’s better to be humble and experience Gods grace walk with us rather than to the prideful and God to be against us. When we exercise humility its not for those around us but its an extension of us exercising our faith in the God who is in us that will exalt us in due time