- Man Satan has really been attacking lately.
- I must be doing something right, because Satan keeps throwing obstacles in my way!
- Satan just won’t quit today! It’s just one bad thing after another.
People continually describe their hardships as all coming from the evil one. Whether it’s unruly children, unavoidable hardships, losing a voice right before a presentation, even running out of gas on a busy day gets blamed on the work of Satan.
It’s very true. Satan is at work. His desire is to discourage, drive to despair, and drive away from the Lord. However…not every hardship occurs in our lives is a direct result of Satan’s involvement.. There are times when the storms that enter our lives are moved there by God.
Consider for a moment the story of Job. This is one account many know fairly well. God gives Satan permission to do whatever he wants to Job and his family, apart from take his life. Satan proceeds to kill off Job’s children, livestock, and servants. Job is then left with his wife and three close friends who end up giving him some really awful advice. All the while, Job still gives God praise. Yes, he questions God, asks Him why, but he never abandons his faith. Satan may have caused Job heartache and pain, but God allowed Satan to do this in Job’s life. However, God not only restores Job, He blesses him many times over. Job becomes richer and has an even larger family than before.
In John 9, we see Jesus with a man who had been blind since birth. Everyone wonders what sin had been committed for this man to be afflicted with blindness. Christ’s response stops them in their tracks…“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3 NIV84). The blindness, this man endured had nothing to do with the work of Satan. Rather, he was born blind so that God would be glorified in this moment.
What does this have to do with us? Before we jump to blame Satan for our hardships, let us consider them an opportunity for God to be glorified in spite and because of our weakness or hardship. In fact, trials are necessary for our faith to develop.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 NIV84
When an athlete begins training something happens to their muscles. As the muscles are subjected to added weights, stretching, and more, they begin to actually break down. They actually become very weak; which is one of the reasons you get jelly legs the day after you start running and muscle soreness. As they continue to train, those muscles slowly rebuild themselves to withstand the rigorous workouts. In the end, they become honed, stronger, and able to endure longer. It is the same for our faith.
In the beginning our faith is weak and new. Even a weak faith is VERY powerful, but faith always has room to grow. Trails allow our faith to deepen as we learn to depend fully on God’s grace and provision.
When you are ready to blame Satan for your trial, hardship, or storm, first turn and give glory to God. Ask Him to deepen your faith through this experience. It’s hard to complain when you’re praising God…
Think about the last trial or bad day you had. Looking back, how can you glorify God for that experience? I would love for you to share with us below.
For further reading: Jesus’ pain had a purpose…and so does ours
I’ve had to change how I run my Facebook Giveaways, because giving away something for every 100 Likes was actually breaking a Facebook rule. Though I doubt they would ever call me out on that, I would prefer to follow the rules like a good girl and live a life above reproach. To enter my current giveaway of a Starbucks gift card CLICK HERE. Feel free to share and good luck! You have until Saturday to enter!