Every born again Christian knows that God loves you unconditionally because He loved them sovereignly from the foundation of the world..

We also know that we are commanded to love others - God, your neighbors, your enemies.

Unfortunately, we soon discover that we are unable of loving others in your own strength.

I received this question from a friend by email:

How do you come to a place where you have to forgive someone who as betrayed you and shows no change in the same behaviour, and has never asked forgivness? How does the pain go, when the lord has been invoked and He as not done it?

The heart of the question is the desire to forgive coupled with the inability to do so.

How to obey God's command and thus please him when the person is as recalcitrant as ever?

In fact, there's nothing we can do in our strength that will be pleasing to God.

Some say, "You can love others with God's love."

But how to get God's love flowing through us?

The Bible says, Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Therefore if we want to please God by obeying His command to love Him above all, and our neighbours and enemies as Christ loved us, we can only do so by faith.

On the Faith Page, you'll find a link: Focus Your Faith by Making A List

We can apply that principle here.

Make a list of the individuals we find impossible or difficult to love.

Then begin to love them by faith by praying for them and calling down God's blessings on them..

Matthew 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Luke 6:28  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

How do we love our enemies? by blessing them, doing good to them, and praying for them. All three are acts of will. We are not commanded to "feel" lovey-dovey toward them.

Read the context of the verses in your bibles to understand better the motivation that the Savior has provided to help us do what He prescribed.

 

Matthew 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
 
Luke 6:28  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29  And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
30  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
 

There are three Greek words translated into the one English word "love";

Eros, which suggests sensual desire - it does not appear in the New Testament;

Philia, which is used for friendship or love of one's friends or relatives - it conveys a sense of loving someone because he is worthy of love;

Agape, which is God's love: the purest, deepest kind of love - it is expressed not through mere emotions but as an act of one's will.

Agape is God's supernatural, unconditional love for you revealed supremely through our our Savior's death on the cross for our sins.

It is the supernatural love He wants to produce in us and communicate through us to others, by His Holy Spirit.

Agape love is given because of the character of the person loving rather than because of the worthiness of the person loved.

Sometimes it is love "in spite of" rather than "because of."

God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8).

We cannot produce in ourselves the feeling of this kind of love.

We can only love this way by a decision of our will, exercised through faith.

Then we experience that faith worketh through love.(Galatians 5:6)

A Jewish example of how faith in Adonai works through love is that of Yaron Bob, an Israeli artist based in Sderot, which has endured hundreds of rocket attacks from Hamas in the Gaza strip. While the IDF does what it has to do, they have not been able to eliminate the threat and altogether stop the attacks. Yaron Bob turns Kassam rockets into things of beauty, rockets into roses, or even Hanukkah Menoras.

While the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza was significantly damaged, it was not eliminated, and rocket fire continues to terrorize Israel's citizens. But the people of Israel are resilient - their spirit remains high and their dreams for a peaceful future remain very much alive. 
 
They live by their biblical promise that, "Swords will be turned into plowshares" (Isaiah 2:4). Out of destruction comes growth. "Am Yisrael Chai" - the people of Israel will endure. Read more in Rockets into Roses.

 

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