DAY THREE: When It’s Not Easy
To be sure, not all people you serve will respond in love. In fact, you can pretty much expect betrayal to enter your life at some point, just as it entered Joseph’s life. Don’t be surprised if people close to you abandon you and pretend you don’t exist. Or, when they do acknowledge your compassion, they might ascribe false and unflattering motives to your good works.
We don’t learn to love people by being surrounded by people who love us. We don’t learn patience by being given what we want when we want it. We don’t learn to trust God when everything is going smoothly in our lives. It is through the difficult times in our lives that we build godly character and become more like Christ.
The truth is that when you live to serve others, it leads you into places where you are stretched beyond your natural ability.
If God plans to use your life in any significant way, you’ll need to endure the hazing of those you are serving! And you will be called to love them. This is precisely what Jesus promised Paul as He invited His newly converted persecutor to walk in the Word and serve his Creator. Jesus promises that Paul will suffer much for following Him.
You’ll be called to dip bread in the wine of your sacrifice and hand it across the table to your Judas. But joy will fill your heart when you start serving others and love them with the love of Christ. Not only will the Lord give you the ability and the power to love others; He will change how you see people—He will give you fresh eyes and His thoughts so that even your enemies become people you deeply care for and love.