On April 19, 1995, the worst act of home-grown terrorism this country has experienced took place in Oklahoma City when the Murrah Federal building was bombed. Over 100 people were killed and the community was rocked to its foundation. After helping to pick up the pieces in the community and minister to those in both physical and spiritual pain, one Oklahoma City pastor and his wife had their house burn to the ground while they were out of the country. They lost everything. Then, less than three months later, the tornadoes that ripped through Oklahoma City completely destroyed their rental house, another total loss.
How could such devastating events occur to people dedicated to serving the LORD? These are Godly people I’m describing. They had sacrificed a great deal just to be in service to the LORD. It’s hard not to wonder why God would let things like this happen to those who walk so closely with Him. How could He allow such a series of unfortunate events to befall those who are witnessing actively on His behalf?
It is my belief that God uses events such as these to silence Satan. He uses the suffering in His children’s lives as testimony against Satan in the ongoing battle between good and evil. God uses our endurance in suffering to silence the mouth of Satan. When God allows us to suffer and we continue to give thanks for all things, even our suffering, we shut the mouth of the enemy and prove him to be a liar.
Scripture provides evidence of Satan’s attacks against us. Satan stands before God continually accusing Christians of serving God for the wrong motives. “For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” (Revelation 12:10). This verse makes it clear – Satan is not your friend. He stands before God night and day pointing to our dirty rags (Isaiah 64:6), little white lies, and our most egregious sins. Satan is challenging God to test His children in their faith so they will witness against the LORD. Yet every time one of God’s children suffers through the pain and sorrow placed upon them and continues to praise, love, and trust God, the mouth of Satan is silenced.
Praising God throughout times of adversity is the story of Job, a man “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8). Yet God allowed Satan to heap misery and suffering on His faithful servant, destroying his family, servants, and livestock – everything Job had. Satan was hoping that in his suffering and loss, Job would cry out and curse the LORD. But Job silenced Satan by declaring “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.” (Job 1:21).
How do you react when God allows you to suffer? Is your first response to praise Him as Job did, silencing Satan, or do you get angry and blame God? Be aware that your suffering is a test. Your response to suffering is a witness for or against the God that has blessed you with everything you have.
Satan predicted Job would curse Him if God took away everything from Job. Satan told God that no pastor and his wife will continue to praise Him if He allows them to experience bombings, terrorism, fires, and tornadoes. Satan tells God there will be no praise for Him if planes destroy the World Trade Center towers. Satan tells God no one will praise Him if He destroys New Orleans in a hurricane.
God will allow us to suffer. It is normal for us to experience misfortune and grief. Bad things will continue to happen to Godly people. God does this in order to test us as witnesses for Him. God’s glory and faithfulness are being challenged by the accuser of the brethren. Our duty is to rise up and be as faithful as Job was and give a normal response of praise to God so Satan’s mouth can be silenced.
God gives us many opportunities to respond with a normal answer of praise. Every trial is an opportunity to prove Satan a liar. Every hurt is an opportunity to prove the glory of God. Every time you suffer you are being given an opportunity to shut Satan up. Every time we are given a misfortune and somehow manage to come through it with even more love for God and Jesus Christ than we had before the test, we have succeeded in silencing Satan.
As you face your difficulties and sufferings in the future, remember to praise God for all things all the time. This is the normal thing to do, for in doing so, God’s glory is manifested and the great accuser Satan is silenced.
Monday, August 21, 2017
“I’m Normal.” – I AM
It’s God talking to you.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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