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Listen while you read: "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 5:11-12 – Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (NIV)
My mare, Mama, was walking very stiffly. As she is very old, with the recent drop in temperature, I simply deduced that age was catching up with her. When the problem persisted, however, I asked our farrier, Dani, to check her out.
As she scraped the bottom of the hoof, removing the imbedded dirt and debris, a wet spot appeared. An abscess had been discovered, along with a tiny, sharp stone, probably the cause of the problem. Fortunately, the abscess had already burst, and by cleansing the hoof, it began to drain. We were not yet done, however. The hoof had to be washed, and then, hydrogen peroxide was poured into the wound. Once this was done, a gauze pad was applied to the bottom of the hoof, which was then wrapped in duct tape. Mama was kept in the barn for twenty-four hours to keep the bandage on as long as possible and then returned to the corral.
Within seventy-two hours, the abscess was clean and dry, and Mama resumed walking without difficulty.
When people insult and hurt us because we are Christians, we, too, can develop an abscess of bitterness within our hearts and minds if we are not careful. Being ridiculed, disrespected, and treated badly is never easy. Jesus, however, tells us that we are blessed when people insult us, persecute us, and say all kinds of evil falsely against us because of our faith. He tells us that great is our reward in heaven when such things happen. Knowing this and applying it, however, can sometimes be easier said than done, so here are a few things that I have learned to do when it happens to me.
When I am ridiculed and treated badly, I first have to acknowledge how much it hurt me. I then need to give that hurt over to Christ and ask for His healing. I need to allow Him to scrape away the pain and embarrassment and then to flush my wounded heart with His comfort and love. Then, I must dwell upon the Scriptures that discuss loving our enemies and doing good to those who harm us, instead of being angry and retaliating. As I do so and allow these verses to wash over me, I find that peace returns to my wounded heart, and any bitterness and anger drains away. Lastly, I pray for God's blessing upon the person or persons who mistreated me, and I praise God that He is in control and working everything that happens to me for the good of His kingdom, as well as for my life, both now and for eternity.
How about you? Are any abscesses festering in your life today due to how you have been treated because of your belief in Christ? If so, you now know what to do to flush them out and once again begin walking in wholeness.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your Word that is a lamp of wisdom in our lives, guiding and directing us to do what is right in Your sight in any and every circumstance. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.
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Good one! Thank you.
Thanks Lynne, God bless!
Thanks, Lynn. It’s all about focusing on God, isn’t it?
Thanks, Lynne, for another inspiring message. Blessings.
Lynn, thank-you for your pertinent scriptural message for this moment in time.
Thanks again Lynne. Your devotions always are good for me.
Blessings to you.
Thank you, Lynne. Wise words for us to heed!
Blessings to you and yours.
Thanks, Lynne, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. My heart hurts when any of God’s creatures hurt. Bless you for faithfully caring for your horse. Blessings.
Thank you, Lynne, for your words this morning. You confirmed in my heart that I was holding grudges against a few people who have hurt me because of my faith and beliefs.
I know what to do now… pray and forgive.
I really enjoyed reading your devotional today. Thank you for the good advice. Your devotionals are not only beautifully written, they are full of insight and encouragement that l can apply to my own life!
Our grandchildren will be here next week for the American Thanksgiving. I think they are wishing we had some horses like yours to enjoy. Thank you for your devotional. I have been pondering a course of action about a situation in our little town…prayer is always the first way to approach a situation. You reminded me of that.
Hope you and your daughter and family are well and not too cold!
Glad to hear your horse recovered well from a painful abscess. You have written a great comparison expressing how we can fester “abscess-like” hurt when someone degrades us because of our faith and your advice how to handle it, is truly the way to go. What peace and healing we receive when we give our hurts to our loving Saviour.
Blessings for your many insightful writings.
Love your devotional always but today Matthew Ruttan said in his UP devotional that this Mom said use FROG which stands for ‘Fully Rely On God’.
I have the assistance of PSW morning and night one of them has been having trouble with some of the others as they want her to retire. One day she was in such a state I was afraid she would have a stroke or heart attack so I said but remember God is in Control and that eventually they must answer to their maker. To-day she said Well I prayed about it and decided Let Go and Let God and she feels much better.
She said she comes to get her counselling so we never know how we can help others.
O Lynne, What you describe just happened to me last night – someone explaining to me why faith is useless due to all the evil in the world and how naïve I am to think that God has any control at all! It always hurts and then I turn to Him and the hurt goes away and I pray once again for the person who seemingly cannot believe
Loved the story of Mama the Mare. All your animal stories clear back to the dogs and the bears when I first began reading you. I especially like the way you tell them – a good firm technical grasp of the problem laid out clearly. Your viewpoint on what needs to be done. What you did then. And how it all turned out. By then the reader is right with you and the application is both obvious and memorable! Thank you.
Excellent message. Your analogies amaze me. Keep writing.
The mare trusted the farrier to carry out a procedure that must have been painful. We need to trust Him the same way.
Hi Lynne, I pray that I will remember your advice with all my abscesses, and not just the ones that have formed because of my belief in Christ. I had a doozy from this past week! I need to stop, slow down, breathe, and pray for help. Thank you!
Good devotional. I have not been mistreated because of my faith in Christ, but I do have some problems festering at the moment. I pray about them in the still of the night.
Thank you for writing.
Super-good advice, Lynne,
I have lived with some false accusations that I have to take to the Lord in prayer over and over. I will be praying, not only for myself, but for you and for all persons affected by false reports, praying that God will stand between hurt people and the persons who falsely accuse, and that God will teach the accusers to stand on the truths of God’s Word in the Bible and in the daily scene.
Keep writing for God’s sake.