Job 42:10 “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
Job was going through hell, yet he still prayed for those who were antagonizing him.
So it says praying for those who seem to antagonize can release the captivity [or pain] of the one doing the praying.
Matthew 5:9-12 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
1 Peter 3:16-17 “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For [it is] better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.”
Here in Matthew and 1 Peter it says that those who put an end to the fighting (i.e. peacemakers), are the ones who will be named the children of God. And it also says that when someone is persecuted that is when they are blessed. And it even goes as far as to say that people should be very happy or joyful when they are hated and falsely blamed for something. But it is also careful to say that the persecutions must for “righteousness’ sake for it to be good. This means that when the persecution is done to someone whose own conscience says they are innocent in the matter, the “reward will be great”. So what could this “reward” be that makes someone whose conscience is clean be happy and “rejoice” when they are persecuted and hated [as Job was described to be]?
Matthew 5:38-39, 43-44 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. ... Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 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;”
And it also says to not resist the evil given, but accept it fully with open arms. When someone chooses not to strike back at others when they are persecuted and their conscience is clean IS the key to something very important.
Romans 12:19-21 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Luke 6:32-38 “For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 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. 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. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Matthew 7:1-3 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
Being a “child of the Highest” must be the reward for not striking back at persecutions. And it also says that if someone revenges themselves than they will also be given back what they have judged against regardless if it is justified in the mind of the avenger. The universe does not show partiality, God does not show partiality. People get back to themselves exactly how they have judged what they have been given. This sounds somewhat irrational, but this is what it says. But it also says that if the innocent gives back good in return of unjustified evil, than the reward (what is given back again) is even greater (i.e higher) because it comes from the most high God. It seems giving back good for evil has some kind of compounding effect on the return of good, because it also overcomes the evil itself, and the evil loses its power. How powerful is that!? So it says to be merciful no matter what in order to be like the Highest and overcome evil. This is what it means to “pull the beam out of thine own eye”.
The LORD gives back to man as man gives out regardless of who started it. But the cycle can end with repaying back good even when supposed evil is given. However, if man is given what he perceives as evil, and he repays with spitefulness, then he will continue to receive and feel what he gives out because that is what he chooses to see and chooses to judge as evil. “For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Man gets back what he gives out regardless of what it seems was initially received. From what is written here in the Bible, payment appears to be a matter of perception and judgement.
James 3:18 “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
So there must be a reward in not repaying evil with evil, and repaying evil with good gives man some kind of blessing or reward that cannot be had without this “turning the other cheek” process. And it seems all men are posed with this opportunity.
But some may ask, why then does “evil” or “bad” things happen to “good” people in the first place? And what is so great about this “reward” for not being an avenger of evil?
Job 1:9-12 “Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”
Matthew 5:44-46, 48 “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; 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. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? ... Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
“Bad” things happen to everyone in this world. It says the “Father” makes it rain on everyone. The universe does not show partiality, and it does not perceive or judge anything as good or evil; that is man’s job. So it is how man perceives the rain, as either good or bad that makes all the difference in the world. But the “way of the world” is to view the “rain” as evil. But it seems from the teachings in the Bible that these “bad” things, or these rains or floods are a test of some sort; a test to see if man can begin see it differently, and in turn be actually saved by the flood itself (1Peter3:20). And if man can overcome the supposed “evil” that is given to him by paying back “good” in return, he will be on his way to overcoming the world and being closer to something better, something higher than this world.
Romans 5:3-5 “And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
The Holy Ghost is a Spirit of understanding; an understanding of something greater than this world. And it says that tribulations (pain and suffering) are given to man as a type path to glory which helps man to grow in the spirit rather than be fixated on the physical world and all it has to offer.
Job 42:8-11 “Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you [after your] folly, in that ye have not spoken of me [the thing which is] right, like my servant Job. So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite [and] Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job. And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.”
Job means hated, from Strong’s Concordance. And when Job sincerely prayed for others while he himself was going through hell (a burnt offering which sacrifices judgment), he was comforted and rewarded. And it also says that it was the LORD who had brought the evil unto Job in the first place. This was his opportunity for some type of glory; which was release from his own pain.
Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].”
Proverbs 16:4, 7 “The LORD hath made all [things] for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. And... When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Remember the LORD allows it to rain on everyone, he makes the sun and the rain, the good and the evil. The LORD is in everyone and everything. And figuring this out is the key to learning how to truly pray for others in the midst of turmoil because the turmoil is not what it appears to be.