But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. -Luke 6:27-28 (NKJV)
I had a hurting friend tearfully ask me, “what’s the limit to suffering?” And I truthfully told them that, with God working through them, the limit is more than they could endure on their own. I went on to add that if they kept enduring ungodly suffering, they would not last long.
Last week’s post was about being there for those who are hurting, those who hurt others, and the forsaken. We are to live and love as Jesus did, not stay aloof of people and situations others would consider unpleasant or painful.
That being said…
That being said…Jesus did not give to the point of self-destruction until the very end, which was intentional to save us all: the ultimate show of agape (sacrificial) love. While He walked the earth, He dealt with those hostile to Him, as well as ministering to those society rejected…and He did it with boundaries.
In a great article from Pastor John Piper’s “Desiring God” website, four great reminders help us to give as conduits for God, not ourselves:
- Anchor your worth in God, not in what we’ve sacrificed
- Draw your energy from God, not your own strength
- Sacrifice yourself for God, for He is the motivation
- Set boundaries with God’s help
Read the whole article, “Die to Yourself Without Losing Yourself.”
So yes, we can drive straight to the heart of darkness and endure valleys and storms and injustice…but as conduits for His grace, strength, and mercy. When we do that, He can carry us through anything and to the other side.