Sunday, August 16th, 2009
"You [will] be fully put to the test." (Revelation 2:10)
Weapons used against true worshippers have included bans, mob violence, prisons, and the 'framing of trouble by law.' (Psalm 94:20) For example, one branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses reported that during just one year, there were 32 cases in which God's servants were physically attacked while they engaged in the ministry. In addition, there were 59 incidents of police detention of Witnesses -young and old, male and female, -who were preaching publicly. Some were fingerprinted, photographed, and placed behind bars as criminals. Others have been threatened with physical harm. In another land, there are now over 1,100 documented cases of Jehovah's Witnesses being arrested, fined, or beaten. More than 200 of these cases occurred on the day when they gathered to commemorate Jesus' death! Nonetheless, Jehovah's spirit has enabled his people to survive. (Zechariah 4:6)
(Watchtower issue: 12/15/07, 3:3, 4)
*You can really see how easy it is for things to take a rapid downturn, especially when that 'angry mob' type of spirit starts to develop, unchecked. It's almost reminiscent of what happens when chum is thrown in the water where there's a group of sharks circling below. All of a sudden a tense situation errupts into a violent feeding frenzy. Even relatively peacefull people can get pulled into that aggressive type of behavior directed against their fellow-man when emotions start running high. In fact, if you've watched the news lately (in regards to the healthcare controversy) you can already see that 'thin veneer of civility' disappearing more than usual lately, and being replaced with pretty open hostility. So it's not too difficult to see how it doesn't take much to push an angry group of people over-the-line in similar situations where the issues hit close to home (especially if they are deliberately misinformed by 'instigators' who want to get them riled up against a particular group -which is typically what happens when it comes to cases of religious intolerance) But since we know in advance that we're not only going to have to face personal tests and hardships, but that, at times, we're also going to be faced with hostility from aggresive opposers, its really important to take to heart the following advice and remember it:
"He will not be afraid even of bad news.
His heart is steadfast, made reliant upon Jehovah.
His heart is unshakable; he will not be afraid..."
(Psalm 112:7, 8)
"Jehovah is my light and my salvation.
Of whom shall I be in fear?
Jehovah is the stronghold of my life.
Of whom shall I be in dread?
When the evildoers approached against me to eat up my flesh,
They being my adversaries and my enemies personally,
They themselves stumbled and fell.
Though against me an encampment should pitch tent,
My heart will not fear.
Though against me war should rise,
Even then I shall be trusting."