#1173 – In The Pain

Good morning people who love like Jesus did

Acts 7:59-60 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep (died).

There are processes and journeys we go on as God is working in us. Sometimes things are instant while many times things take a while.

But I wonder if we at times allow things to take longer than God intends, or even requires from us, due to how we feel?

Praying for those who hurt us is one of those very difficult things to do. We would all agree that it is often a process. But I wonder if at times our slowness verges on disobedience to something God has commanded; something He has said so that we can be free.

While Stephen was being stoned to death, he was asking God to not hold this sin against his enemies. This was not years later or after he had worked through the injustice he was suffering. This was while they were inflicting excruciating pain that resulted in his death. It’s easy to read the story but please don’t let the reality of what took place here escape you.

It reminds me of Jesus’ prayer while hanging in agony on the cross.

Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Hang on a minute! They knew exactly what they were doing!!! Yet His heart was still for those who were hurting Him. Unbelievable.

Both Stephen and Jesus prayed for those who were hurting them while they were committing the offensive acts.

What is our prayer in the moment for those who are hurting us deeply?

Is it possible to love like Stephen and Jesus did?