I remember meeting a pastor in Russia a few years ago who spent time in prison for passing out Christian tracks. The enemy wanted to silence him, but the Lord used that difficult time to strengthen and transform him, Today he is a pastor full of hope and God’s love.
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”The word is so powerful it can break the chains of the enemy and lead people into the Kingdom of God. The word is so powerful that it begins a process of spiritual transformation that continues each day of our life and . n changes cultures, cities, towns and countries. It is like medication that brings life and gives hope to all who believe. This is why the enemy wants to silence every believer and the word of God being proclaimed.
Trying to Silence the Apostles
Paul and Silas were in Philippi a major Roman colony located in modern day Turkey proclaiming the word of God. Their ministry was setting people free and the Lord was building the early church through them. The light of Jesus was shining, and the darkness of the enemy was being pushed back. Then the Apostle Paul was harassed and confronted by a slave girl with a demon spirit.
Acts 16:18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her. 19 Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. 20 “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. 21 “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.”
22 A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24 So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. 
Paul and Silas were receiving pushback because they were proclaiming the truth resulting in prison. The same thing happens today because there is a great spiritual battle for the souls of people. If you are leading people to Jesus, or if you are proclaiming the word of God expect pushback from the enemy. The enemy does not want to people to come to faith and have hope.
What can we learn from the Russian pastor who experienced pushback?
- Ask the Lord in prayer to give you perseverance and boldness to keep moving forward in spite of opposition.
- Remember: 1 John 4:4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
- Keep praising the Lord. This helps us to look up and know where our real strength comes from. The Lord loves when we praise Him, especially in difficult times.
- Know that the Lord is with you and will not leave or forsake you.
To hear more about Paul’s time in prison, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/hope-in-prison