Scattered For His Glory

Hedge trimming, trimming, and debris cleanup for a widow.

There is a common plant, an invasive species, called bittercress, which when hit, sends seeds flying from the plant into all directions. It is often looked at as a weed, though it has some medicinal value, and when one attempts to destroy the plant, it ironically spreads further because of its seed-spreading tactics.

This behavior is similar to what happens when Christians are persecuted. Whenever satan, either by himself or by stirring up another, sets forth to persecute Christians, the faith ironically begins to grow and spread even further. Perhaps this is one reason why God allows persecution to take place. Our Father, The LORD, “shall neither slumber nor sleep” and is our “keeper,” and “preservest man and beast,” and so we see He is in complete control; therefore, regarding any affliction in our lives, we can be confident that our Heavenly Father has allowed it. And as we see two times in scripture, satan is limited in power, having to gain permission from God.

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” [Job 1:8-12]

“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” [Lk 22:31-32]

Though painful and undesirable, The Lord sometimes permits persecution. Those who are not persecuted are responsible to pray for and support those who are. Paul says, “remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” [Heb 13:3] For those being persecuted, relief and joy can come from realizing Jesus is in control and as David comforts, The LORD “hast considered [our] trouble; [He] has known [our] soul in adversities.” And so, similar to the way the weed spreads its seeds, one benefit of persecution is that it spreads the faith. We see this in Exodus, and in Acts. Reading below,

“Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” [Ex 1:10-12]

“Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.” [Psa 105:23-24]

And in Acts,

“And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” [Acts 8:1-4]

“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the LORD Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.” [Acts 11:19-21]

Post: In The Face of Enemies

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