We’ve talked about suffering in the past and how it is useful in relation to 2 Corinthians 1:4 which says that God “comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” We have also talked about how when our priorities are wrong we endure pain. That pain is to shift us back into proper prioritizations.
When I was in the military we found that when we endured attacks we would passionately draw in closer to one another and refine our mission. It was as if the enemies attacks were the very things that drove us to be more efficient and driven. We would go into a buildings missing the urgency of where we were and what we were doing. After having done it so many times you seemingly grow accustomed to the danger and miss the true significance of what is happening. However, when someone endured an injury everything seemed to shift. We realized this isn’t a game we are playing here, we have real lives in our hands. Let’s get to the foundations, clear these rooms the way we need to, finish the mission and get back to base. The attacks brought focus. This is exactly what happened when Stephen was stoned to death in the book of Acts: the disciples began carrying out the very mission Christ had called them to do.
I wonder today, are you allowing the enemies attacks to drive you into the arms of Christ. Are you letting the blows the enemy is placing to invigorate you towards praying and rebuking the punk or are you letting the attacks widdle you down and render you useless? Romans 8:37 says “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us!” However, it seems that when we are attacked Christians often shriek back and flee. They curse God, question their faith, and challenge the Lord instead of realizing they are in the middle of a war. Rather, we are called to push forward, expect the attacks of the enemy right?! Ephesians 6 tells us we are in a war and need to don armor! We are not walking around in a safe world that is indifferent to the Lord. They murdered Jesus. The same spirit active in the world during Christ’s presence here on Earth is the same that is active today.
Expect attacks. Expect challenges. Yet it is through those attacks and challenges that we are refined, the meaningless things fall away. Welcome to Covid. God has stripped the Church of all those worthless things we once did. Are we ok with it or are we whining and complaining? We’ve had our elaborate programs destroyed, our packed buildings, our incessant holiday rituals… are we refining and going back to the roots or are we allowing this to truly feel like a full force attack?
Spend 1-2 minutes thanking God that He stands for you even when the enemy attacks and you turn and run. Then spend 2-3 minutes asking Him to equip you with a courage to stand in the face of our foe.
What if you were as passionate about representing God as other people are passionate are about their perceived wrongs? What if you were passionate about people knowing there was someone who was brutally killed and had a message? What if we actually cared about Christ? Novel idea.