Today, I watched the Christian inspirational movie, “Mary and Joseph.” It is the story of how Mary and Joseph’s friends, Rebekah and Elijah, struggle with Rebekah’s family’s death at the hands of one of Herod’s soldiers. It was interesting because many Christian movies focus solely on Christ, but this movie was focused more on Mary and Joseph (especially Joseph).
I liked the movie, and really liked how they focused the movie on forgiveness instead of on retribution. The next part of this is a spoiler: Joseph in the movie helped Elijah choose not to kill the soldier responsible for his wife’s family’s death, and instead allowed God to do what only He could do.
It’s a horrific thing to lose one’s family, as has happened to so many over the centuries; as I think about it, this is exactly what is happening to countless people in Northern Nigeria right now. The pain that has scarred these innocent people has created hatred in their hearts, so much so that many are trying to avenge the deaths of their loved ones themselves.
I can’t really say anything on this subject, because the truth of the matter is that I could not even start to possibly imagine the pain, anguish, hopelessness, and heartbrokenness these people are feeling. I don’t want to even pretend like I know.
What I do want to do, though, is point these people to Jesus—the Prince of Peace and the God of All Comfort. This is what our good, righteous, perfect, loving God tells us to do:
“But to those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well.”
(Luke 6:27-29, Berean Study Bible)
I know. At first glance, this is easily scoffed at. How can one get up the heart to pray for those who have hurt and ravaged their very lives and the lives of their loved ones? The secret is this: We cannot do these things on our own. It takes Jesus Christ– who died for us– and the power of the Holy Spirit to have such a change of heart. It takes looking at the cross and remembering how much Jesus has forgiven us to learn to forgive for ourselves.
In light of all they have been through, let’s pray over these precious, hurting people right now.
“Jesus, only You can heal the rawest, most hurt parts of ourselves.
In this messed up world, we need You.
Please help us to forgive, and to look to You to give retribution and vengeance, because You alone know how to give it.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
May Jesus provide us with the peace that does not come from the world or its good/bad circumstances, but with His Peace, which lasts forever.
Do you know Jesus?
Whenever we think of how we have been wronged, it can be so easy to completely refuse forgiving the one who has hurt us. It is only in light of the cross, and seeing how much we have been forgiven, that we can learn to forgive.
Learn more about Jesus and how He died on the cross for your sins, here.
Please pray for…
- The Chibok girls’ & Leah Sharibu’s quick return home.
- Those in war-torn areas, struggling with grief, pain, and anger. May the local and world-wide Church come to comfort and strengthen them.
Thank you for your prayers.