This week started off with the tires of our vehicles being slashed.  Seems a vandal in the area visited many people during that night, ruining several thousand dollars worth of tires.   And most of our tires were new or nearly new, and insurance didn’t cover it, resulting in expense for both the ministry and myself personally.  As you know, tires aren’t cheap.  I had every opportunity to fly off the handle, but somehow through it all, I kept my peace, though it cost me a day’s work changing tires on everything, and several trips into town to get replacement tires mounted.  When I was telling a friend about it, they said, It doesn’t do any good to tithe, because bad stuff still happens to Christians, even though the Bible says in Malachi 3 that God will rebuke the devourer from us, and He doesn’t always do it.

     True, it does say that.  But that’s not the whole story.

    Surely there was a lesson to be learned in all this, and I think I know what it is.  Payday with God is not every Friday.  Sometimes bad things happen to Christians.  Do you know why?  Because we are living in this world and still have to put up with the devil and his crew, and he’s an “equal opportunity destroyer”.  That means he doesn’t care whose stuff he’s destroying, just as long as he’s destroying something.  Before you ask, yes, I do plead the blood of Jesus over our home, our belongings, our vehicles, and everything we have.  Does that mean I live a charmed life?  No.  We are blessed, but not without incident.  Believe it or not, Jenny and I get our share of hits from the devil, too.  But we’re still standing.  That’s the secret of success.  There’s a verse I’ll use to make my point:  Proverbs 24:16: “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth again, but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”

    Many times people who love the Lord get hit with something from the devil.  But how we believers respond makes all the difference if it all comes out with us being victorious in the end, or the devil getting the last laugh on us.  Personally, I prefer to be the victor.  And I suspect you do, too. You may get knocked down by the devil many times in the course of your life.  But if you always get up one more time than you fall, you always win!   So what do you do when you get up?  Stand.  Do you just stand there like a dummy, waiting to get hit again?  No!  You use the knowledge you have learned from the Bible, and call your goods back again, for it is written in Proverbs 6:30-31, “Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; but if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.”

     First off, the person who destroyed our tires was not doing it to satisfy hunger, but just did it out of an evil heart.  Still, I believe we should not despise him, but pray for him (or her) that they be saved, and then demand the devil to restore sevenfold what he stole from us through them.  Then stand, though the devil tells us, NO, I won’t restore.  We keep standing until we get our restoration.  Even when Job was severely persecuted and his family was destroyed, and his goods destroyed, Job stood his ground and kept his eyes on God.   It says in Job 2:9-10, “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die.  But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh, What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?  In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

    By the way, did you read the end of the book of Job?  It says Job received double for his trouble.  He ended up with double the wealth than he started with, a new family of good looking kids, and many more years of life.  What if he had just done what many of us would have done, and started accusing God?  Two guesses.  He would have ended up like many people do today…bitter against God, and still having his stuff lost.

    I’m trying to make a real strong point here….we can get hit with evil and blame God for it, or we can “give thanks unto God in all things“, and stand our ground and eventually come out a winner.  There are those who are suffering from bodily illness, who are close to giving up on their healing, or have already given up.  Will they win?  Nope.  Last man (or woman) standing wins.  There are those who are having severe financial trouble in the same boat, giving up, griping and complaining against God……”Well God, Your word says if I give, or if I tithe, Your word says such and such, and I’m not seeing it….”  Do you think in the end anything will change for them?  Nope, they’re not STANDING. They took a hit, or several hits, and they’re down and not getting back up again.  And to make matters worse, they’re calling God a liar.  Dumb.  Real dumb.

    It is written in Ephesians 6:13, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  Yes, there’s evil out there, and yes, sometimes we take a hit.  But that’s no excuse to blame it on God, because He’s not the destroyer, God is the one who blesses us.  Do we have a part in getting that blessing?  I believe we do.  It’s called “standing” when we’d rather complain or give up.  Because, after all, with God, payday is not every Friday.  But Payday is coming, if we faint not.  The devil will get his, and we will get OURS!!!!   You never know, you could be just one minute, or one hour away from that healing you need, or that financial breakthrough, or whatever blessing you seek from God.   Don’t throw away days, months, or perhaps years of standing in faith.  How long must you stand?  I don’t know, but you stand till you win!  Remember, God’s watching….and He’s faithful to His word!