Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it—1 Cor. 4: 12.
If you are a faithful pupil (in the school of Christ), it will not be long until you see that the perfect law of liberty, the law of Christ, is a discerner of the very thoughts and intents of the heart, and that while you must hate all sin, you cannot hate any sinner, and yet have the love of God perfected in your heart. If even so much as a bitter feeling against our traducers and maligners arise, it is to be fought, and so complete a victory gained over it that every fiber of our beings will be in sweet accord with our Great Teacher's instructions, "Love your enemies. Pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you. Bless and injure not".
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Because of their loyalty to God and His cause, God's people are made the targets of bitter upbraidings from the wicked. These they are not to meet with counter-revilings, but rather with kindly benedictions. They must endure various forms of refined and gross persecution but instead of returning evil for evil are quietly to bear the mistreatment.
Parallel passages: Acts 23: 2; 16: 23; 14: 19; 2Cor. 11: 23-27; 1Tim. 4: 10; Matt. 5: 44; 1Pet. 2: 23; 3: 9; Luke 23: 34; Acts 7: 60; Rom. 12: 20; Acts 22: 22; 24: 5.
Questions: What experiences of this week were along the lines of this text? How were they met? What benefits came through them?
IF I COULD KNOW
IF I could only surely know
That all these things that tire me so
Were noticed by my Lord—
The pang that cuts me like a knife,
The noise, the weariness, the strife,
And all the nameless ills of life—
What peace it would afford!
I wonder if He really shares
In all these little human cares,
This mighty King of Kings!—
If He who guides through boundless space
Each radiant planet in its place,
Can have the condescending grace
To mind these petty things.
It seems to me, if sure of this, Blent
with each ill would come such bliss
That I might covet pain,
And deem whatever brought to me
The blessed thought of Deity,
And sense of Christ's sweet sympathy,
Not loss, but richest gain.
Dear Lord, my heart shall no more doubt
That Thou dost compass me about
With sympathy Divine.
The Love for me once crucified
Is not the love to leave my side,
But waiteth ever to divide
Each smallest care of mine.
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