I have come to the realization through the studying of God’s Word that nothing should take the believers in Jesus by surprise. Jesus saw to it that we’d never walk in ignorance about what is to come. We’re either glossing over stuff or choosing to be ignorant and naïve. But scripture is very clear on suffering, trials, testing, temptation, false prophets you name it. We have been warned. Listen to the Words of Jesus and the apostle Peter.
“I’ve told you these things to prepare you for rough times ahead. They are going to throw you out of the meeting places. There will even come a time when anyone who kills you will think he’s doing God a favor. They will do these things because they never really understood the Father. I’ve told you these things so that when the time comes and they start in on you, you’ll be well-warned and ready for them.
John 16:1-4 MSG
“Beloved friends, if life gets extremely difficult, with many tests, don’t be bewildered as though something strange were overwhelming you. Instead, continue to rejoice, for you, in a measure, have shared in the sufferings of the Anointed One so that you can share in the revelation of his glory and celebrate with even greater gladness! If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are greatly blessed, because the Spirit of glory and power, who is the Spirit of God, rests upon you. If you suffer for being a Christian, don’t consider it a disgrace but a privilege. Glorify God because you carry the Anointed One’s name.”
1 Peter 4:12-14, 16 TPT
We should never be shocked by anything. If we’re attacked in our bodies, remember who’s behind sickness and diseases. If you are being responsible and doing what you should to take care of God’s temple, which you are, (1 Corinthians 6), and if you’re doing everything in the natural to stay healthy, then take your authority over the enemy and declare what the Word says over your body. If you’re attacked for being a Christian, you shouldn’t be shocked or surprised. We were told it would happen. We may not like it but we should never be surprised by it.
There’s a real devil out there who has made it his goal in life to go after God's children. The plan is to discourage and sow doubt in the hearts of the unsuspecting. We shouldn’t spend our time focusing on him, but we should never be ignorant of who he is and what he’s capable of. John 10:10 gives us his modus operandi. He’s a mass murderer a thief and a liar. The opposite of everything he says is true. If he says you’re sick, you’re well, if he says you’ll never get out of the situation you’re in, then that means your life is about to change. If he says God doesn’t care about you, Jesus said, He’ll never leave you or forsake you. Fire the liar by standing on the promises and remembering the warnings.
Our problem is we think he’s harmless as long as we ignore him. We have to take authority over his schemes. We don’t curl up in a fetal position and allow him to terrorize us. We were warned, “so that we would not be exploited by the adversary, Satan, for we know his clever schemes.”2 Corinthians 2:11. One of the main ways he gets a stranglehold over our lives is through unforgiveness, doubt and fear. When we walk in the love of God towards each other we become a force that the enemy cannot destroy. Our vision is clear, and we’re able to hear our Teacher. We stumble in darkness when we’re unfocused on what the Bible teaches. Get rid of the hindrances and you’ll never be surprised by anything the adversary does.
Shocked by world events? Why? Matthew 24 lays it all out. We can believe every word because the Word Himself is doing the talking. He’s warning us of things to come. He’s taught us how to recognize the signs of the times. He’s taught us how to build a spiritual house that will never crumble under life’s pressures (Matthew 7:24:25). Christians are under attack for little things like wearing a cross pendant to work. Everyone is offended by everything bearing witness for Christ. The rapper can wear it, but a true child of God cannot -why? It’s Who we’re representing by our lifestyle that scares them. Lukewarmness is acceptable but being on fire terrifies the Jesus haters. But are we surprised? Why? We’ve been warned.
When we read the apostles accounts of their suffering, they’re never surprised. They’re joyful, they use it as an opening to share even more. To be bolder, more resolute. Paul saw prison as new territory to take for the King. Stephen saw martyrdom as a platform to share the Truth of the Gospel. Peter used the threat of silence to share why he couldn’t be. They respected authority as long as it didn’t cross the line. Choosing to obey God rather than man. Man may have unleashed Covid and its variants over the world, but the devil is capitalizing on it big time. Christians are accused of spreading it. We were told not to gather, not to sing, yet every place else and crowded protest was applauded. Surprised? Why? We were warned.
“But you need to be aware that in the final days the culture of society will become extremely fierce. People will be self-centered lovers of themselves and obsessed with money. They will boast of great things as they strut around in their arrogant pride and mock all that is right. They will ignore their own families. They will be ungrateful and ungodly. They will become addicted to hateful and malicious slander. Slaves to their desires, they will be ferocious, belligerent haters of what is good and right. With brutal treachery, they will act without restraint, bigoted and wrapped in clouds of their conceit. They will find their delight in the pleasures of this world more than the pleasures of the loving God. But the evil men and sorcerers will progress from bad to worse, deceived and deceiving, as they lead people further from the truth. Yet you must continue to advance in strength with the truth wrapped around your heart, being assured by God that he’s the One who has truly taught you all these things.”
2 Timothy 3:1-4, 13-14 TPT
'You Must Mask Toddlers': CA Officials Close Church Preschool, Church Says It Was Unfairly Targeted
Bishop Gripped by 'Fear' as He and Christian Politician Face Hate Speech Trial for Stating Biblical Views on Homosexuality
An Attack on My Faith': Christian Nurse Fired for Wearing Cross Necklace Wins Discrimination Case
The Entire Body of Christ is Hurting': 6 Christians Brutally Murdered in Kenya During Terrorist Attack
One pastor noted:There's a real spiritual battle going on in the city of Chicago for the lives of people," said Pastor Corey Brooks of Project Hood. "There seems to be a spirit of murder throughout the city.
These are just a few random headlines but there’s much more. These are daily occurrences. Surprised? Why? The Teachings of the Bible have fully equipped us for every kind of storm. No attack is random, it’s carefully planned and orchestrated by the enemy of our souls. We are to be discerning and aware. We are to be ready and alert. We’re told to put on the whole armor of God so we can skillfully handle every attack. Ephesians 6. We’ll never be surprised if we’re paying attention to the Word events. No, I didn't make a mistake. Word events keep us in the know. We pray without ceasing, we preach and teach the Word in and out of season. Whether it’s received or rejected. We pray like the apostle John. Even so,come quickly Lord Jesus. But surprised? Never. We’ve been told all these events would occur. None of us are off limits to Satan’s attacks. Let’s be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. As Jesus taught us:
“So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for His purposes. And don’t live foolishly for then you will have discernment to fully understand God’s will.”Ephesians 5:15-17 TPT
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
January 24, 2022