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Resisting kittens

The day comes in every Christian’s life journey when he or she hears Satan’s whispered, “It’s not worth it. Why do you keep accepting the inevitable disappointment because of faith-related hassles?”

For some believers, it happens right after conversion when Satan orchestrates attacks from unsaved loved ones or jealous co-workers.

For other believers, the really powerful assaults happen later when Satan launches physical attacks on the health or financial attacks on the bank account or emotional attacks on marriages.

There is no denying that going along with Satan’s agenda in order to cease the near-term hassles can seem like an attractive idea if only viewed from a sensory perspective.

Yes, it is a good thing when earthly pain stops.

But in view of Satan’s 100 percent record as a liar, thinking that the pain will always be stopped is not wise.

The fact is that caving into Satan’s scheme in one setting — just to avoid discomfort — only invites him to torment you in other ways.

It’s just like negotiating with terrorists or taking illegal drugs. Give in once and you’ll have to give in forever… or else.

I’m glad that the Apostle Paul never negotiated with Satan.

Paul knew that Satan hated it when the bloodthirsty bounty hunter became the blood-cleansed soul seeker.

Paul had to have heard countless whispers that life would be SO much easier if he would go back to teaching the works-based religion that he had embraced for years before the Damascus Road experience.

And countless times, Paul showed Satan that concession to oppression — just to avoid the “or else” — was not a faithful option.

In my One-Year Bible reading today from 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote about resisting Satan’s invitations to give up on faith.

This list is amazing so please pay close attention. When one form of suffering comes your way that you believe is an attack upon your faith, remember what Paul faced as Satan pressured to give up on God.

Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one

Three times I was beaten with rods

Once I was stoned

three times I was shipwrecked

I spent a night and a day in the open sea

I have been constantly on the move

I have been in danger from rivers

in danger from bandits

in danger from my own countrymen

in danger from Gentiles

in danger in the city

in danger in the country

in danger at sea

and in danger from false brothers

I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep

I have known hunger and thirst

have often gone without food

I have been cold and naked

Compared to Paul, I have faced kittens rather than lions.

I have suffered in a few ways while Paul suffered in many, many ways.

No matter how much difficulty that I might yet face in life because of my faith, I will not encounter the abuse faced by Paul simply because he wanted to spread the Gospel.

What is so amazing is that Paul’s torment was incomprehensibly less than the persecution and pain faced by Jesus Christ so that Paul and I could gain eternity with God.

I’m not sure if you’re facing any hassles just now because of your choice to shine the light of Christ. If you’re getting no attention from Satan, perhaps you should ask yourself if you’re doing anything to oppose him.

One thing is clear about the scripture.

Satan attacks those he sees as threats to his grip on unsaved souls.

When attacks come, see them as proof that your faith is accomplishing something.

Make sure, however, to also see them as occasions for running to your Abba Father for strength and understanding and protection against attacks greater than your ability to bear.

As always, I love you

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