The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

September 21, 2012

There are ways to encourage ourselves when we face attack

From the Pulpit

By Rev. Jim Erb

---- — Many today are in a season of battle. Not that battle is new. We are born into a world in battle. The battle is between light and darkness, good and evil. It has been that way since Adam’s sin.

There are seasons, however, when it seems the enemy turns up the heat, especially on God’s people. Often this happens just before some great spiritual breakthroughs come our way. When we are attacked, the question usually arises, “Why?” To say that’s just the way life is doesn’t satisfy when we know that Christ paid the price for our complete victory at the cross. Nor is it much help when “Job’s friends” come by, with little real understanding, to accuse us of being some horrible sinner, therefore attacked.

Let me make some suggestions as to why. What can we do? Where can we turn?

First: We don’t need Job’s friends to tell us if we may have left the door open to attack by committing some sin. Satan loves to hit us when we are down. There are consequences of sin. You may need forgiveness to close that door.

Second: Learn to worship with our questions. Stop, laying your questions aside for the moment, to worship. God is good, loving and kind. He also knows all things. He is worthy of our worship. Try singing. I like the old chorus that says, “I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. ... No turning back. No turning back.” Or try: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” Satan won’t hang around worshipping people very long.

And try this: View things redemptively; that is, see things as God sees them.

The Apostle tells us that as Christians we sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, a place high above all powers of darkness (Ephesian 1:20-21, 2:6). God sees the battle and knows how to bring victory. 1st Corinthians 13:12 tells us, “Now we see through a mirror dimly, but then face to face, I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I have been fully known.” The time is coming when we will fully understand. We can trust God until then if necessary.

Another suggestion: Avoid a victim mindset. Poor me! This will only bring all kinds of ungodly thought patterns. Rather we need a victor mindset. Victory lies ahead.

Understand this. Scripturally, the greatest deeds of God often seem to come at the times of greatest needs or attack. The Red Sea didn’t open until the enemy army neared to attack. Jesus didn’t turn water to wine until they had run out of wine. He didn’t feed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes until there wasn’t enough food as they hungered.

If your attack is great, your miraculous God’s provision for victory may be just around the corner. Why not ask Him for it now?

Try this promise from Hebrews 6:12: “Through faith and patience we inherit the promises.” The Greek for patience gives the idea of our resting in a trusting manner knowing God is able and willing to provide what He promises.

There may be many reasons for attack today. It seems we are in one of those heavier attack seasons. Pastors I know have phones ringing off the hooks with calls from troubled people under attack. Here’s the good news. I am told it is usually the darkest just before the dawn. There must be a dawn around the corner. I sense Satan is nervous because God is up to something big for His kingdom. So if you are under attack, these words of encouragement may bring truth to you as to why. The truth can set you free.

Hang in there! The best is yet to come!

The Rev. Jim Erb is overseer of Antioch International Ministries, New Wilmington.