“Hardship is normal Christian living, defeat is abnormal.” – F. Dean Hackett – Foundational
No one wants to hear that hardship, spiritual warfare, and coming under attack from our enemy is normal Christian living.
Many Christians today were sold a false gospel, being told that coming to Jesus would cure all of their problems.
To be sure, accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior will cure the ultimate problem of hell, but for many it causes many more problems to arise that they may not have anticipated.
If David knew anything about life, he knew about being under attack.
He spent many, many years on the run from jealous King Saul who had one aim – kill David. David also spent years running from his enemies who had the same goal as King Saul.
At one point, he and his men returned to camp, only to find it burned to the ground and their wives, children, and the rest of the inhabitants captured.
Hardship, most definitely, marked his life.
How Should Christians Respond When They’re Under Attack?
When Christians, and Christianity in general, come under attack, the response varies from pacifism to anger to fatalism.
Some quote Jesus’ instructions (out of context) to turn the other cheek.
Others return fire for fire, hurling insults to their attackers and call for retaliation.
Still others respond with a “que sera sera” attitude, that this must be God’s will, otherwise He would have stopped it.
But, the question is, are these responses the right responses, and if they’re not, how should Christians respond when we come under attack?
This week we began a new Good Morning Girls‘ study, reading through Psalms 51-100. And right away we see David is under attack.
His response to these attacks is something we rarely see today.
Today we have so many options at our disposal to defend ourselves and our reputation:
- We can sue for defamation
- We can turn to law enforcement
- We can move to a new location
- We can get other governmental leaders involved
- We can turn to the press, to bring exposure and raise awareness
There are many options we can use to defend ourselves and retaliate against our enemies.
So often, when Christians come under attack, we forget that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood; against unbelievers, against a pagan influences, against godless agendas, against governmental leaders…
our battle is against an unseen enemy with forces of darkness. Our battle is a spiritual battle and must be fought on a spiritual battlefield!
This isn’t to say that there aren’t times when our strategy shouldn’t at times bleed into the natural realm to include law enforcement or the justice system, if need be.
But in the Psalms we see a response in David that we can learn from.
When David came under attack, his response was prayer and a deep trust in God that so many Christians today lack in their spiritual walk.
We read verses such as:
“I will praise You forever, because You have done it; and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” Psalm 52:9
“When [not if] God brings back the captivity of His people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.” Psalm 53:6 (emphasis and clarity mine)
“Behold God is my helper; the Lord is with those who uphold my life. For He [God] has delivered me out of all trouble.” Psalm 54:4, 7 (clarity mine)
“As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save m. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me. Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:16-18, 22
David didn’t just hope that God would defend him and deliver him from his enemies, he knew….he was utterly convinced that God wouldn’t let him be defeated.
He was so convinced that God would deliver him, that he waited on God for Him to retaliate.
All of these other things we rely on today are just tools, but the power of deliverance doesn’t lie in the hand of justice, law enforcement, government, media, or even our own street smarts.
These tools lie in the hands of fallen men who have a great propensity to corruption.
When we’re under attack, we need to the power of Almighty God to defend us; He is on our side, He cannot be corrupted.
And His promise is that He will deliver us!
Reflecting back on Jesus’ words that in this world we will have trouble, He goes on to say that we are not to fear for He has overcome the world!
When Christians come under attack, there is only one response we should have and that is to turn to God in prayer with a heart that trusts Him above all else.
He will give us wisdom to know if we should wait or respond.
But every response should be rooted in an abiding trust in Him alone to defend and deliver.
Here is where you can find our online Bible study group: Good Morning Girls in the Word