Don’t be discouraged. Victory is ours. — by Ps Sam Powell
When Ps Sam Powell put this comment on a thread earlier this week, I immediately thought it would be good for a Sunday devotional post. So here it is again. Thank you, Pastor Powell. 🙂
* * *
I have to say that we have a lot of work to do in the church, and I am very thankful for this site, and for the hard, painful, troublesome and glorious work that Jeff and others are doing in waking up the church to the evils that lurk – formerly in the corners, but now it seems it is coming more and more to light. It used to be that abuse was never spoken of, just dismissed as a “family thing”. How shameful, and what a black-mark on the name “Christian”!
It appears as if the church might be waking up a little, but this also means that wickedness will put up a fight. I’m ready. Bring it on. In our weakness, God is strong. In our tribulation, God is merciful. In our persecution, God is our fortress and our deliverer.
Remember how often God allowed the faithful in Israel to get to the point where they had no earthly hope – just so God could destroy all of their enemies at once? God sent Pharaoh’s armies after Israel so that they could be drowned in the Red Sea. God gathered all of the Canaanite nations together so that Joshua didn’t have to go all over to destroy them – God brought them to him!
“Be strong, and very courageous!” God told Joshua.
Moses said, “Stand back, and see the salvation of the Lord!”
One day, the most beautiful, righteous, pure and loving man who ever walked the earth was abandoned by all and left to the mercy of the devil. At least that is what the devil thought and that’s what it looked like to the world.
But in this darkest day when it appeared as if the salvation of the world was finally gone forever, Jesus defeated death and hell forever, and gave the devil the death blow.
I am constantly asked what the church’s responsibility is towards abusers and those who defend them.
The answer isn’t mine. It is from God himself:
Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
Please remember – We aren’t called to figure out how to win. God has that covered and Jesus himself will come again with great power and a multitude of angels. Our job is only to be faithful.
Be faithful if you have little. Be faithful if you have much. Do not fear their faces or tremble at their threats. Simply be faithful. Protect the fatherless and the widow, gather the outcasts, the lame, the halt, the blind. Cry for justice for the oppressed. Shine the light into the rocks and caves where abusive and oppressive men gather under the rocks, and expose them.
They’ll holler; they’ll yell; they’ll lash out; they’ll seek to destroy you even –
But which one of God’s people were NOT afflicted in the world. And who won?
Who will win?
Our God is far greater and far stronger – does he not have ears and eyes? Does he not see the bruises and hear the cries? Does he not continue to call us to take up our crosses and follow our saviour?
The gospel of Jesus Christ is beautiful, but deadly. The more faithful we are, the more we are under attack. But don’t be discouraged. Victory is ours.
* * *
The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. (John 10:3-5)