Opposite of the World
We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it. (1 Corinthians 4:12).
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 4:8-13
Song: “His Way with Thee”
From May to August of 1945, any German nationals living in the country of Czechoslovakia were expelled. To the Czech government, whether these Germans had supported Hitler’s regime or not, was inconsequential. Among the displaced were two sisters, Friedl and Gretl. They endured homelessness, hunger, and separation from family. However, they held fast to hope, despite the suffering. When asked how they refused bitterness, Gretl said, “One must simply forgive.”
Paul reprimanded the Corinthian church for its spiritual pride. Their worldly riches and righteous deeds were blinding them to God’s truth. Paul reminded them that the calling of the Christian is to suffer with joy and to display God’s love, no matter what circumstances surround us. We will suffer hardship, prejudice, and inequality. The world’s quick-tempered response is anger and resentment. Yet, as Christ followers, His strength transforms our trouble into a platform for praising Him. Love, blessing, and peace—these things are the trademarks of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him for help. Release the pain to Him. He creates joy where we only see sorrow. He enables forgiveness when we are powerless against our enemies. Let us be willing to showcase His power. His way is the better way.
Lord Jesus, on the cross, You forgave those who crucified You. Your pain brought redemption to the world. Thank You for Your example of love and kindness. Teach us to walk in Your footsteps with humility and grace. In Your name, amen.