Hate is such a strong word and it is used in various ways and places in scripture. David said in Psalm 139:21,22: "Do I not hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? I hate them with a perfect hatred".
Flesh and blood are not our enemies but we war against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and wicked spirits. We can hate these with a perfect hatred.
Luke 21:17: "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake".
Matthew 24:9 says "Ye shall be hated of all nations". There is no escaping the hatred that is coming the way of the Christian. Last year's number of martyrs rose almost 50% to 2,123 confirmed martyrs for Jesus' sake.
Paul told us 25 signs of the last days in II Timothy 3:1-7, and much of it deals with fierceness and despising goodness. But it should be no surprise for the Christian who has always been hated. Jesus told us so in John 17:14. So is there a proper way to handle being hated?
Matthew 5:43: "Ye have heard that it has been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy". But....Jesus has a better way. Light is stronger than darkness and good overcomes evil.
Jesus gives us 5 ways to deal with those who hate us in Matthew 5:44:
1. Love your enemies
2. Bless them that curse you
3. Do good to them that hate you
4. Pray for them which despitefully use you
5. Pray for them who persecute you
When you have forgiven someone, it should be evident that you have done so. Jesus might ask you, "have you forgiven them"? And you say, "yes I have". Then Jesus should be able to then ask, well how did you love them? How did you bless them? What was the one good thing you did for them?
Spiritual Help Resources
Connecting through Prayer
A consistent prayer life is fundamental to establishing strong connections with God, others, and God's plan for our lives. Drawn from the booklet "Connecting through Prayer," this article is sure to enrich your prayer life.