[December 16, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
When Ps Sam Powell put this comment on a post (Does a Christian Wife Have Fewer Rights than a Slave Wife in Moses’ Day?) 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. [Paraphrase of Joshua 1:9.]
Moses said, “Stand back, and see the salvation of the Lord!”[Paraphrase of Exodus 14:13.]
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. [Ephesians 5:11 NKJV]
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 ESV) [Emphasis added.]
[December 16, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to December 16, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to December 16, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to December 16, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (December 16, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]
7 thoughts on “Don’t be discouraged. Victory is ours. — by Ps Sam Powell”
Barbara, thank you for posting Pastor Powell’s comment as a post. It is so encouraging to have another pastor like Jeff Crippen boldly step forward and proclaim the Word of the Lord!
Love this. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had to appeal to it when addressing others or myself. I am not called to effect an outcome. I am simply called to be faithful.
Thanks for the encouragement, pastor Sam! 🙂
Wow. What a message. It resonates with something I just read a minute ago, from the book of Psalms, 108 verse 13:
When all seems impossibly hard, I remind myself that David too was but a poor shepherd boy, but he defeated the giant that nobody else dared fight.
Yes, Barb, with fear and trembling, let me join you, and proclaim, Bring it on!
Thank you for this timely word. Left church moments ago under a weight of great discouragement due to more double-speak spoken from the pulpit (some of it as if deliberately meant for me….), claims made of being a “safe church willing to answer any and all questions you may have….” This statement has not been backed up by my experience with the leadership as questions have been presented on a number of occasions and the last time was well over a year ago (by email so I would have some sort of back-up documentation). To this day, however, none of of those question have even attempted to be answered…. No approach…. No concern for the confusion I have been left in…. (Btw, I only continue to attend this church because of some deep friendships / support base…. It’s very complicated.)….
Anyway, this was very uplifting and just the reminder needed. Definitely felt the hug of the Holy Spirit….
I enjoyed this when Ps Sam wrote this as a comment and really needed to hear it again.
This is coming, but I still have far to go.
I listened to Pastor Powell’s “Dealing with Abusive Men” not long ago, and then found “Living with Deceitful Men” this week (both on SermonAudio.com). As someone who recently was delivered from a very long-term abusive marriage, both sermons were incredibly helpful, and very appreciated. It’s so nice to hear from pastors like Powell and Crippen who get the abuse mentality and preach against it.
(….insert net-speak for wordless appreciation here….)