One thing I’ve never quite been able to wrap my head around is how the Apostles were so upbeat in the midst of jail, beatings, facing certain death, all because they wouldn’t shut up about the Good News of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
These last couple of months there’s a been a lot of trials in my own life, some you’re aware of, many you’re not as I try to keep a lot of the personal away from the internet for the safety of friends and family, but I found it difficult to maintain any sort of positive attitude through a lot of it. I watched and as many people do, got discouraged because a lot of what went on was completely overwhelming not just for me, but for others around me.
But I received a reminder this weekend, something that I’ve noted in my battles against evil within science fiction publishing and in comics, it came down to this: the Enemy knows where success and gains are being made, so he makes these attacks when we’re over the target. Realizing that made me rethink some of the events I’ve seen in the last couple months.
It’s easy to see that sort of thing in real time, when it’s a group of humans tangibly attacking. It’s easy therefore to point and laugh and say, “these people are attacking me because i’m effective and they’re scared.”
But Satan attacks the effective and is afraid of us as well.
We forget that so often. He uses disease, death, anxiety, division between brothers and sisters in order to make his attacks on us. And those strike often at the effective, because those are the tools he’s using in warfare.
But it’s because we’re making headway for Christ. We can be rest assured that when there’s suffering, it’s because we’re doing good. It seems counterintuitive, but looking at things in the spiritual lens and seeing the light there makes it much easier to laugh at the troubles, because he has no power over us.
And that’s why the Apostles could keep such joy through their far worse persecution than we have today. That’s how they could stay joyous because they already know how the end of the final battle turns out. So does the enemy. We’ve got him scared.
As John told us in Revelation: “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.”
Persevere in faith and we will win. It’s guaranteed.
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