XXXIV Persecution--darkness hates the light
by Bill Hunt
Persecution rages against the active Christian.
In one place, I suffered an attack in my office which led to my firing. For over a year, a couple of persons pecked at me like chickens in a hen house. I don't know what motivated them.
As the situation grew more severe, I mulled it over at my desk. Suddenly, with no thought or warning, goosebumps covered my body. I could feel a presence standing beside me. Was it of God?
A visible flash of light about nine feet tall caught my amazement. Inside the flash I could see a being. I knew his message would determine his source.
“Father-God wants you to know he is with you.”
The words so powerful and yet so gentle permeated my whole being and calmed my spirit. This angel in my office brought me comfort under the weight of the attack which lasted six more weeks before I was cruelly discharged.
But God was not finished.
Alone at home, I watched a sermon by Joyce Meyer. She preached on Isaiah 54:17.
17 No weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and this is their vindication from me,"
declares the LORD (NIV).
Her point is, the disciple must take the action to refute and the Lord will take vindication for him/her. The Holy Spirit compelled me to obey.
I am a person who really hates to fight, but I wrote the appeal and mailed it in obedience to the Lord. As a result, the state hearing overturned the action of the agency and ruled I had been discharged unjustly. God's word is true.
Over and over again, my wife and I have suffered persecution. Now, as an active Christian, I have learned to recognize the source of the attack. The darkness hates the light.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19 NKJ).
Sadly, severe persecution frequently comes from members of the Christian community who should know better.
Once, in a very high church office, Jesus visited my desk and said, “I'm taking you out of here. I'm promoting you.” Within two weeks, officials attacked my honesty for failing to hide deceptions and persecuted me out of the position. But Jesus promoted me into his “special forces” ministry for the rest of my life.
Another time, one pastor consistently expressed sour racial words against “blacks,” but he also persecuted us “whites” out of his church to guard his concepts.
Another was jealous of my administrative position and slyly slandered me until I was forced to leave. But he was not awarded the position he so carefully coveted.
I know the feelings of Joseph in Genesis. There is a spirit of “Potypher's wife” who seizes insecure women to misuse even the sexual harassment laws, against good men. I saw such a woman attack a dozen men with her manipulations.
This is compounded by officials who fearfully protect their positions, especially in government. They are petrified from standing against deception. They have the power to expose and stop it, but won't.
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" (Attributed to a film of the book “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy).
So, what must we do who serve the Lord? Turn to God.
19 A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all (Ps 34:19 NIV).
King David showed, yes, we can pray for the Lord to deliver us from our enemies.
8 May ruin overtake them by surprise—
may the net they hid entangle them,
may they fall into the pit, to their ruin
(Ps 35:8 NIV).
The Apostle Peter instructs us.
19 So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good (1 Pet 4:19 NIV).
Of one thing I am sure. There is not one enemy we have that we should not pray for him/her to be delivered from suffering in torment the eternal fires of hell. Beyond that we must acknowledge both God's perfect justice and mercy.
35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay (Deut 32:35 NIV). God said.
Wow, darkness in the Church, the Church of God? Or is it? I have too seen the darkness in the people’s church. Gossip and jealousy ruled their actions against my gifts and I too left because of their backstabbing and bitterness. And all I have to say to them now is, “Shame on you.”
And all I have to say to you is, thank you for exposing this truth. Amen and amen. . . Debby