Nr.153 ended with: “But there was another reason why we had problems……..!” (See richardandmarina.net).
When God created the world and mankind, God’s enemy, Satan, appeared almost immediately to attack. Within a short time of Jesus being born, Satan, using king Herod, tried to kill Him. When Jesus wanted to start His ministry, He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness and was there attacked by the devil. And through the next few years Jesus was constantly under attack. When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost and the Church was born, Satan came and stirred up opposition, and persecution of the new believers started.
The Christian life is a battle, not a Sunday school picnic. It is warfare. When I accepted Jesus I became very conscious and aware of the presence of God, but I also became aware of an another presence, an evil one. God is real, but so is the devil, and anyone standing up for God will experience that. And that’s one reason why we have problems, and in a sense that’s a good sign, because it means he is afraid of us and of what we are doing. I have often said that the only place where there are no problems, is at the cemetery, but there they are all dead. So if the devil never bothers you, you may well wonder whether you have any life.
Wherever God is at work, there will be opposition and problems. And God was at work in Belgium, and we experienced the opposition, in many different ways. The enemy attacked our spiritual life, our health, our marriage, our family, our ministry and so on. All kinds of things happened, some people who had seemed to be so genuinely converted left us and turned their backs upon us, which was heart rending. There were problems between believers, which is not abnormal, but not easy. There were problems with leaders in the church. We experienced a church split in one area, But thank God, sometime later these dear folk met and confessed things to each other and reconciliation took place. But it had taken a lot of time and energy, and it was very tiring at times.
A couple times, I became so overwhelmed with the problems that I told my wife, “Honey, pack the suitcase, we’re going back to Canada, I’m so tired, I can’t take anymore.” But 15 minutes later I turned around and told her to unpack because we just couldn’t leave, not as long as the Lord who had called us, had not given the word. From then on whenever I would tell her to pack the suitcase, she would wait 15 minutes before starting……! 🙂
Yes, it was a real battle, but God was with us and it was indeed really worth it, you’ll see……………….! (Go to Musings).