1 Peter 2:12
Can you experience rest without obtaining it? It turns out you can, if you know your ultimate rest has already been secured. Even when life becomes hard, you can rest in the awareness that things at the very end will turn out well.
The Apostle Peter, speaking to persecuted believers, said, “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation (1 Peter 2:12 ESV).”
A lot of Christians today unnecessarily feel anxious. They see Christianity losing ground in our country. They fear the future and for their kids. Some of these concerns are valid, but we ought not to respond with anxiousness but rather confidence in God’s promises.
Let me give you a real-life example. Dr. Rosario Butterfield was a tenured professor in the English department of Syracuse University. She was working on a book to take down the Bible. As part of her research, she connected with a local pastor named Ken Smith.
Ken and his wife invited Rosario into their home and to the meals they shared with their congregation. Almost every meal included singing the Psalms. During one meal, they sang Psalm 23. When Rosario heard, “A table thou has furnished me, in the presence of my foes,” she, at first, thought that line was about her. She so trained herself to see herself as the victim she thought she was the one having a table set before her enemies.
Then she looked around and realized the English professor misread the text. It was not her dining in the presence of her enemies. She was the enemy. They were dining before her. Looking back years later, as a Christian, she said, “The Christian life goes on regardless of how many enemies are at the table because enemies cannot mar or perjure the main thing of the Christian life – ‘That I may know him and the power of his ressurection, and share his suffering, becoming like him in his death’ (Philippians 3:10).”
If our confidence is in God’s promises, we can, without fear, love, pray for, turn the cheek to, and dine with our enemies. Why? Because we know our enemies can never ultimately harm us. They cannot destroy the promises of God.
Rest in your Father and love your enemies like Jesus did.