By Ernest O'Neill

How Is It Possible to Bless Our Enemies?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

And then in chapter 12 he says, "Now, in the light of this miracle that God has wrought for you, what kind of behavior on your part will enable this new version of your life to be played inside you miraculously, by the Holy Spirit?" And then you remember he gets down to details, and it’s one of those details that we are studying today in Romans 12:14:, and in the light of this that has happened he says “Bless those who persecute you: bless and do not curse them."  Bless them? The answer to that is given in one of the earliest persecutions that is recorded in the Bible. You remember the persecution of Joseph by his brothers? You remember he at times was unwise about the way he talked of his calling by God to be a special person and they grew jealous of him and they opposed him.  And eventually they threw him down a pit and he was sold into slavery. He then met with them years later, towards the end of his father’s life, and he explained what the reality behind that whole series of events was, and this is why we should bless those who persecute us.

Look at it in Genesis 50:15-21, "When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil which we did to him.’ So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, ‘Your father gave this command before he died, say to Joseph, forgive I pray you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you. And now, we pray you; forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him, and said, ‘Behold, we are your servants.’  But Joseph said to them, ‘Fear not, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ Thus he reassured them and comforted them.”

That’s why you bless those who prosecute you; because they mean it for evil but God intends it for good. And that’s why that verse in Roman 8:28 runs, "God is working for good in all things, in the lives of those who love him." So even with those who persecute you God has already run that part of the tape through and he has taken out of it anything that would do you real harm and whatever he has left in it, is only there for your good.

Complete Talk: How To Treat Your Enemies