for we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. for we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. your restoration is what we pray for. for this reason, i write these things while i am away from you, that when i come i may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down. [2 corinthians 13:8-10]
we face adversity every day, often from those that we deeply care for. our relationship with the Lord greatly informs how we react in the face of conflict, strife and adversity.
it’s easy to associate those who claim to follow the Lord with the character of God… and God himself. but the truth is that God’s promises are true and He is who He says that He is.
we only have one enemy. when our spouse is disrespectful, our children are disobedient or our family abandons us, we still only have one enemy. there’s an enemy who wants you to think those around you are the enemy.
there’s one enemy who comes to seek, kill and destroy. There’s one enemy who wants church staff to be in constant unresolved conflict. there’s one enemy that wants family units to be distant. There’s one enemy that wants you to be jealous of the season of life your friend is in.
there’s one enemy that wants you to be bitter towards your brother or sister in Christ.
for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [ephesians 6:12]
those who have hurt me the most have claimed to be believers. in those moments, we have an opportunity to truly rely on the Lord’s strength. we have an opportunity to set boundaries but to pray and seek restoration. we have an opportunity to plead for their salvation.
~ natalie schmidt