This is a post I have wanted to do for a while. These are my thoughts and feelings--I am not trying to teach doctrine.
Several years ago I began to hear about the persecution of the church in other areas of the world. People would talk about about the persecution that was coming to the church here. Some would say, you better get ready for it-- it's coming. And I agree, it will come because the book of Revelations teaches it.
But something about the fact that God promised we would face it if we were His--and yet people did not seem to be experiencing it today in America--that bothered me.
Then God took me on a little journey.
My life and walk with God began to change. I became the odd one in my circle of Christian friends. They thought I was a little too serious about the whole letting God change your life thing. We soon began to realize that we were being left out of things that were taking place. Parties would happen where everyone was invited--we'd find out afterwards that we had not been invited for a reason. A few said it was because they did not want us to ruin their good time.
I was also teaching in a womens group at this time. I was teaching what God was teaching me. God was drawing the line in my life and asking me if I wanted to be on His side or Satan's. I chose God's. Some of the women thought I was pointing fingers at their life with my teaching. If only they had known.
We were pushed outside of the group and not let back in.
At the time I could not believe that Christian's were acting like this. How could they be so mean?
My guts felt like they had been ripped from my body. I sank into a time of major discouragement. I carried anger in my heart for quite a while.
Then one day God showed me that I could not harbor hard feelings toward these people. They had been a tool of the devil. He had seen the growth in my life and where God was taking me and he was trying to shut me down. That is his job.
Most of us would not label this as persecution because it had come from people who were Christians. But it was.
Persecution comes in various forms. People, events, weather............whatever tool God allows him to use. That's right-- God has to give Satan permission before he can do anything.
Those events in my life made me strong in my God. They shook me up and flopped me upside down but when my feet hit the ground they landed on the solid rock. That is how God can promise us hope and a future. He promises to take what Satan tried to use for our destruction and flip it for our good.
So let Satan have his time of playing games.
We are the ones with the "get out of hell free card".
One day the powers he thinks are his will be yanked from his hands. And shackles will be placed on his hands and feet and he will be thrown into a pit from which he will never be allowed out again. Then our Savior will wipe away every tear and hard times will be forgotten as we step into the glorious eternity that awaits those called by His name.
Does that just make your heart speed up just a tad?
It does mine!
So ---recognize Satan's games for what they are----distractions that will steal our joy if we let them. But-----remember..............he did not give it and he can not take it away unless you give it up. Don't let satan steal your joy.
He'll try using circumstances (like termites), people, weather anything that means something to you---don't give in....FIGHT!
Our weapons and power are mighty to pull down anything that raises itself above our God.
OUR God--how cool is that?