Joy For All Seasons

Devotional
Do you ever wonder why God allows difficult people into your life?

Difficult, frustrating people barge into my peaceful world and disrupt my stability with their instability!

Why can't I just meet Pollyanna, Santa Claus, and Mother Theresa along my life's journey? Why does my life seem to be filled with the Grinch, Barney Fife, and an ugly stepsister or two?!

God often places difficult people in my life not to bring out the worst in me … but to bring out the best in me!

Perhaps the reason that the Lord allows our lives to collide with difficult people is not to bring out the “selfish” in us … but to bring out the Jesus in us.

God challenges me to love the unlovable … to care for someone who spits in my eye … and to talk kindly about someone who has ruined my reputation with their gossip. God loves me when I am at my very worst – and He calls me in every situation and with every relationship to be like Him.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1 & 2)

When you walk in love and choose to be kind rather than throw an emotional tantrum, you are saying, “I will act like my Dad! I have the family gene that enables me to love difficult people!”

When we respond with heartfelt love to others’ dysfunction, I have a feeling that God, the Father, is smiling down from heaven and proudly declaring, “Look at my delightful child! She is acting just like Me!”

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world because we were the difficult people who needed forgiveness and love. Don't allow difficult people to rock your boat emotionally or to steal your peace and joy. But allow people to bring out the family resemblance in you … because after all … you do look just like your Dad!

Joyful Thought to Ponder: Make a list of the difficult people in your life. Now, pray for them and ask God to help you love these people like He loves them!