Over the past weekend I was up with my girlfriend visiting Northern Wisconsin where her sister has a really nice log home on a lake. Praise and thanks be to God the entire family had a very nice time boating, tubing, water-skiing, hanging out by the campfire at night, and cooking impromptu meals and treats. The entire family was invited, including the siblings, spouses, kids, and of course, me! This was my second year in attendance. This is one of my favorite groups of people to hang out with, and this is one of my favorite activities I look forward to all year long. Praise be to God it went off without a hitch....! Everyone got along fantastically, lots of laughs were had, and it was three days of pure family fun and love all around.
Yet, something really puzzled me. It has become an annual ritual for me to take all the kids and one of their uncles to the local ice-cream store where everyone enjoys a tasty treat. This year I called ahead to find out how late they were open. Well, at the ice cream store, even though I paid for the ice cream for everyone, I was kinda insulted. While everyone else was given a perfectly nice straight cone of ice cream, they gave me an upside-down cone smothered in a dish. I could have hollered and complained but instead I kept quiet, saying in my mind "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Believer, in this world, we will be insulted, persecuted and treated unjustly just as Jesus was persecuted. Yet I kept repeating in my mind Romans 8:28 and showed not a single sign of being upset. I even tipped them generously --- an 18 percent tip for providing absolutely no service. If something like this ever happens to you, just forgive and forget, and pray the following prayer: "Lord, I forgive those who wronged me, intentionally or unintentionally. I pray for those who persecute me. May they come to know your love and mercy just as I know you."
In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.