One look at the title of this blog post and you’re probably thinking to yourself, “No way. Not possible.” Is it really possible to have peace when a loved one doesn’t know Jesus? Well, it may depend on your definition of peace… For the Believer, following Christ is a matter of life or death. Knowing that a loved one has rejected Jesus is not only difficult emotionally, but it can also cause strain on your relationship with that person. You so desperately want them to know God’s love the way you do, but they want nothing to do with it. Trust me when I say that I understand… it’s hard.
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- Know that it isn’t up to you. I think we often put undue pressure on ourselves when it comes to reaching the lost for Jesus. Yes, we are His hands and feet, but I think Paul said it best in his letter to the Corinthians:
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. – 1 Corinthians 3:6-9
So while we are all God’s workers called to spread His Good News, it is the Holy Spirit that miraculously transforms lives causes growth. Think of it this way… when you plant a seed in the ground, you are the one doing the planting. But then you have to walk away. You have no role whatsoever in causing that seed to sprout and grow into a plant. In the same way, we are called to spiritually plant seeds and water, but God does the rest. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t see growth yet. Seeds sprout underground long before you see the results above ground.
- Surrender your loved ones to Jesus. What do you do when you have done all you can to reach the people you love, yet they refuse Jesus over and over again? There’s not much you can do on the surface. Pushing too hard never works, and it will strain your relationship. The only thing left to do in this situation is to surrender them to Jesus.
We do this in two ways…
First of all, pray for their eyes to be opened to the truth. In other words, pray that God will reveal Himself to them. Truth be told, He knows much better than you do about reaching them the way they need to be reached. He knows their hearts, so He knows what they need to see and hear.
Secondly, surrender your worry to God. I, for one, know what it means to worry about my loved ones. I want what’s best for them, and I wholeheartedly hate watching them suffer without Him. But all of this worry isn’t good. In fact, God commands us NOT to worry about anything… and that includes the salvation of family members and friends. Surrender them to God, and allow His peace to move in your life.
- Trust God and His Word.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9
God’s heart is for all to know Him… He longs to adopt every single man, woman, and child as His own. Rest in this truth. Jesus died for the sins of the entire world so that all would have access to His saving grace. He longs to see them come to Him even more than you do.
When a loved one doesn’t know Jesus, we can have peace in knowing that God’s heart is to see all come to Him.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.