“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.”- 2 Thessalonians 3:5
You have all faced difficult people in your life. There are always those individuals who will challenge you and, in the midst of the struggle, cause more hurt than you could ever imagine. The sad thing is, many times when you face the haters, it’s when you are experiencing great joy or success.
For many of you, the harsh attitudes can cause you to give up or slow down in whatever you’re doing. Their words or looks can make your trajectory shift and you lose sight of your purpose.
The hard people can cause a large amount of pain, but only if you’ll allow them to do so, you just need to gain the proper perspective to move forward.
These people will work really hard to make you feel inadequate when you’re making great strides in life. You need to know something…
It really isn’t about you! These people really don’t care who it is, they just want to hate on others because they aren’t secure in themselves. If you are honest, you already know this, but it doesn’t change the hurt you still feel inside.
In 2 Thessalonians 3, Paul is writing to the church to offer words of encouragement in times of struggle. The people were in the midst of haters. Paul shares his own experience with hard people,
“Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly…and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men, for not all have faith.” (2 Thess. 3:1-2;NASB)
Paul was obviously dealing with hard people. He sought the church’s help in prayer. He knew that would be the only way to handle the hurt. Yet, even in the midst of the pain, he kept his focus on the glory of God. He still wanted the word of the Lord to spread even while people were trying to ruin him.
You know what he is going through right?
You have been moving along doing good things and “perverse, and evil (people)” come on the scene and work hard to tear you down.
Where do you find healing? How do you push beyond the hate?
Paul was sure to bring things back to perspective before addressing the hurt. Everything you do should be for God’s glory, so if you face the hard relationships, your hope is found in God and not people.
He sought the church for assistance in prayer. Notice he didn’t bring up names, but still let them know he needed prayer. You should find people to be praying with you to protect your heart, mind, and work as you press on mission for Jesus.
Finally, something Paul recognized, that you need to hold on to as well, not all of the people had faith. This implies that people with or without faith can cause emotional damage. The people with faith who cause hurt needs to be addressed in a later post, but those without faith should be seen as just that, lost individuals who don’t understand renewal of spirit and joy.
People without faith have never experienced the fullness of joy in Christ, therefore they will not know how to share joy with others, which leads them to cause pain. You cannot allow them to steal your joy, but it should bring you joy to know that they recognize your goodness.
You should find joy in knowing you are being recognized for doing great things in the name of Jesus, but also to know you have people you could be praying for. There is humility to be found in praying for your enemies. It should be common practice when you have people trying to knock you down, you go down to your knees and seek God’s love for them.
Challenging people will always be present in your life. It is all about how you respond to their difficulty.
May you step towards God as people step towards you in anger. May you find a way to seek the love of Christ for His creation in all their brokenness. May you live in the freedom He has provided through His Son Jesus.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: How could you be serving your enemies better?