For The Truth

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How Minister to People Following Acts of Evil, 9

Taken from John Piper, 21 Ways to Comfort Those Who Are Suffering

9. Express the truth that Satan is a massive reality in the universe that conspires with our own sin and flesh and the world to hurt people and to move people to hurt others, but stress that Satan is within and under the control of God.

Job 1:6, 12, 21-22; 2:6-10. "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. . . . Then the LORD said to Satan, 'Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.' So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD. . . [After losing all his possessions and his ten children Job says] 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD. Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. . . . [After a second meeting in heaven] the LORD said to Satan, 'Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.' Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. . . . Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!' But he said to her, 'You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?'" 

Job 42:2, 11. "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. . . . Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. 

Luke 22:31-32. "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." 

2 Corinthians 12:7-9. "Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me - to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." 

Compare the following two perspectives on the cause of Jesus' death.
Luke 22:3-4 "Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them." 

Acts 4:27-28. "Truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur."


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