Opposing Forces in Our Lives

Job was a righteous man who loved and who served God, but God gave Satan permission to inflict Job by touching all that he had, but to not touch him. So, in one day all of Job’s animals and his servants (but for a few) and his children were struck down, and they all died. But Job worshipped God, and in all of this that Job suffered he did not sin. But later the Lord gave Satan permission to touch Job’s body, so Satan struck Job’s body with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

Then Job’s wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But Job responded, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. And Job’s friends, though seemingly sympathetic initially, ended up assuming that Job’s suffering was because of some sin in his life, and so they accused him of such continually. Still Job tried to assure them that his suffering was not a result of sin in his life, but they would not accept that.

Job 23:8-9 ESV

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,
and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.”

Have you ever been where Job was? Maybe your suffering was not as severe as his, and maybe you had friends who supported and encouraged you, and who believed you, but still you were suffering. But the more severe the suffering the harder it is to endure. And then when you don’t have any support and encouragement from others, and when your friends or your family or your church family then accuse you falsely of what you did not do, and they try to convince you that you are in the wrong, that is tough!

But then, have you felt like God wasn’t there? All of a sudden you are not hearing him like you did before. He seems silent and distant, and so you just wish he would say something, even to rebuke you, just so you know that he is there, for you need to know that, otherwise you feel totally abandoned. Have you been there? I have. I hate those times when I can’t hear the Spirit speaking, when he seems silent, and especially if Satan is attacking me.

But I believe God allows even these times of silence to test our faith. This is when we definitely have to walk by faith and not by sight and not by our feelings, for our feelings don’t feel so well in these times. And if we don’t sense the comfort of God’s love, and if Satan is attacking us in our minds and in our emotions, it is doubly hard. But this is when we must persevere and just go on what we know to be true even when we can’t see it.

Job 23:10-14 ESV

“But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?
What he desires, that he does.
For he will complete what he appoints for me,
and many such things are in his mind.”

One of Satan’s fiercest weapons he uses against us is his lies and his false accusations. He especially will attack us in our minds when we are the most vulnerable, like when we are lacking sleep, or when we are not feeling well, or when we are being oppressed by our opposition, by our enemies. And he will falsely accuse us of wrongdoing when we know we are not doing wrong. But he will try to put doubt in our minds and to confuse our minds.

He will lie to us about God, and about the Scriptures, and he will lie to us about other people, and he will try to make us fearful or paranoid about things that may or may not even exist in reality. But now we do have the Holy Spirit who speaks to us, too, and he does speak words of conviction and correction, as well as words of encouragement and hope, so we do need to make certain that the Lord is not trying to point out error in our lives before we just automatically ignore what we are hearing, unless it is something very obvious. For we don’t want to ever quench the Spirit.

And we have to remember that Satan is a deceiver, and he disguises himself as an angel of light, so he isn’t always going to sound like the devil, but he may masquerade himself as the voice of the Spirit with a gentle whisper in our ears. So we have to be discerning, and pray for discernment, especially during times when we are lacking sleep, and we are sick, and we are worn out, and even our minds are tired. And he may use a preacher to do his bidding who will try to say we are in the wrong when we know we’re not.

So, just make sure you are in the right before you claim you are, for God could be taking you through a time of suffering in order to prune you and in order to cleanse you of some things that he doesn’t want in your life. I generally make it my practice when I am going through such times to ask the Lord to teach me what he wants to teach me through my trial and to convict me of any wrongdoing if I am unknowingly doing something which displeases him. And sometimes he does, and I needed that correction.

But when your conscience is clear, and you have prayed, and the Lord has not shown you any error in your life, then you can confidently stand up to Satan and to his lies and you can proclaim the truth. But just make certain that your truth is the truth, for many people today are believing lies that they have been convinced are the truth. But they are twisted truth, and often they come from Scriptures taught outside of their context.

For example, many people today, when they are sinning against the Lord deliberately and habitually, they are being taught to cast off any kind of conviction and to assume that is Satan accusing them of the wrong that they are doing. And they are being told to just “Claim who you are in Christ,” which they may or may not be, and this is in order to ease their consciences so that they can continue in their sin without guilt. This is of Satan!

So, this is why I say, make sure that you are in the right and that you are not fooling yourselves, and when you are certain that you are on the right path, according to Scripture (taught in context), then you can refute Satan’s lies with the truth, and you can stand up to him and not let him bully you. You can be strong and courageous in the strength of the Lord to state what is truth and to hold on to the truth of what you know and to not waver and to not falter. And then you will be able to withstand the devil’s attacks.

Hopefully you will be able to say with Job that when your trial is over that you know you will come out shining like gold. And that you can say with full humility and confidence in the Lord that you have held fast to the Lord’s steps, that you have kept his way, that you have not turned aside, and that you have not departed from his commandments (New Covenant), but that you have treasured the words of the Lord more than your portion of food.

And hopefully you will have the same understanding as Job that God is absolutely sovereign and in control over all that he has made, and that whatever comes into your life is there because God has allowed it for his purposes, and that your trials were appointed by God for you to make you into the person he wants you to be for his glory. And then you can rest in the Lord and trust him with whatever he brings into your life, as Job did.

[Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Matt 5:10-12; Lu 21:12-19; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; Jn 15:1-11]

‘Til The Storm Passes By

By Thomas Mosie Lister

In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face
While the storm howls above me, and there’s no hiding place
‘Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry
Keep me safe till the storm passes by

Many times Satan whispered
There is no use to try
For there’s no end of sorrow, there’s no hope by and by
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I’ll rise
Where the storms never darken the skies

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by

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