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'We love because He first loved us' 1 John 4:19 NIV

Richard Wurmbrand was kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured for 14 years under Communist Romanian rule. He tells a story about the torture of a fellow Christian: 'A minister I had heard of in Romania had been horribly beaten and was thrown back into the cell with the other prisoners. He was half-dead, with blood streaming from his face and body. As some of the prisoners washed him, others cursed the communists. Groaning, the minister said "Please, don't curse them! Keep silent! I wish to pray for them."'

Those who tortured the minister had not asked for forgiveness. Nor had they shown remorse. And they would continue to beat him the next day. Yet the minister summons up the ability to pray for them. He asks God to bless rather than curse his enemies.

It's one thing to agree with Jesus' teachings; it is another to carry them out whilst blood seeps from your head. So maybe you've not been physically tortured, but perhaps emotionally you have. Maybe the last thing you want to do is pray rather than curse. Ask God for the courage to love your enemies as opposed to being defeated by them.

So what now? Clench together your fists and imagine you're holding unforgiveness. Now release your fingers as a physical gesture of letting go of all the pain and hurt. You may want to seek professional help in order to let go of deep emotional traumas. (By the way, if someone is hurting you, that's not ok. Talk to someone about it and get help.)

SoulFood: Acts 1:1 - 3:10, Matt 27:11-18, Ps 43, Pro 10:17-18

The Word For You Today (an adaptation of The Word for Today authored by Bob & Debby Gass) is published under licence by Rhema Media. 2011 UCB International Ltd alt

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