– J.C. Ryle
On the right Side
I believe that if you’re being attacked by the enemy, at least you know that you’re on the right side. Paul assured Timothy that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). So the real surprise would be if you never go through spiritual attacks, which sometimes take the form of persecution. First Peter 4:18 says, “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” Don’t you want that “Spirit of Glory and of God” resting on you?
Agitating the Enemy
One of the very first times I went out to evangelize on the street, I knew that I was entering enemy territory. I was bringing the Gospel into areas where Satan had control, and he didn’t like it. I expected rejection, slammed doors, and disgust, but that’s okay. I can live with that because my purpose was to unleash the very power of the Gospel for the salvation of others (Rom. 1:16). No, I was not that power, but God’s Spirit and the Word can work together to bring people into the knowledge of their sin and their need for the Savior. From my experience, taking the Gospel into enemy territory brings about a lot of spiritual attacks. Expect and rejoice, for our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). Satan doesn’t bother with mute believers.
Being in Good Company
Jesus said that if they are persecuting you, that’s good. Well, that’s my paraphrase anyway, as He actually said, “’A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours” (John 15:20). Remember that Jerusalem was “the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it” (Luke 13:34), which is why He told His disciples, “You will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues” (Matt. 10:17), and some “will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me” (Matt. 24:9). If you are persecuted or spiritually attacked, you are in very good company.
We can have hope even if we are persecuted and are experiencing spiritual attacks because we know the enemy wouldn’t mess with us if we weren’t making some difference for the kingdom. The more we do for God, the more we are Satan’s enemy. So the very fact that he assaults us should fill our minds with hope.