Peace be with you, dear readers.
If you know me outside of my blog, you know that this past year has been incredibly difficult. I’ve been feeling quite a bit like Job, as dramatic as that sounds. Through my past and continual losses, I’m slowly learning about the sovereignty of God, His grace, and just how much of a threat I am to the kingdom of darkness.
Now, many of you are experiencing a difficult situation at the moment. I don’t know what that is, but let me tell you that it is certainly not meaningless. God takes our painful moments, that He allows to happen, and uses them for our benefit and His glory. How does He do this?
First, let’s take a look at my 2017 and then I can explain how God is restoring my life.
In 2017, thus far, these different tragedies have taken place:
- I lost my job teaching ESL because they didn’t have a class for me to teach.
- Grad school fell apart for me and I had to drop out.
- Because I was living off of my loans, that meant I had no more money to survive on.
- My parents’ marriage began falling apart and is now completely dissolved.
- My father was rushed to the hospital with a blood clot in his lung and is recovering.
- I was forced by circumstances to move to Atlanta because I could no longer afford my apartment, which means I left all of my friends.
- My favorite aunt, who has Lupus, feels that God is slowly calling her home.
Damn! That’s a lot, right?? It seems overwhelming when it’s written in a list. Trust me, experiencing it was even more overwhelming.
As each part of my life began falling apart, I began falling as well. I fell into a depression. My body rejected food. A few sips of soup were all I could take for a day. My mind craved sleep. I passed the afternoons with naps. All I could think was, “What’s the point anymore?” “Does life really matter?” “Maybe it would be better if it were all over.”
Lord Jesus that should have been the biggest red flag that I was being spiritually attacked! Think about the story of Job in the Bible. Job was a man who enjoyed earthly prosperity and comfort while recognizing that it was all from God and loving God deeply. He was a blameless man and had a solid reputation. Because of his love for God and his loyalty, Satan asked God if he could test Job. Satan told God that if God took away all of Job’s comforts and security, then Job would curse Him to His face.
Now God told Satan that he could take anything from Job except he couldn’t kill Job. So Satan destroyed every aspect of Job’s life. He lost it all! Yet, in the beginning, Job still praised God and worshipped Him through his pain.
When Job’s friends began to accuse him of committing some sin or Job’s wife doubted God, Job began to fall. Without any material pleasures or human companionship, Job fell into the darkness and cried out to the Lord.
The Lord heard him, comforted him, and restored to Job twice of what was lost.
Some people may find it dramatic to compare myself to Job. I don’t. God didn’t give us Job’s story so we could look at it and think, “Oh wow, that sucks. Good thing I have Jesus and nothing bad can happen to me!” Sorry to burst your bubble, but when you sign up to be a Christian, you sign up for Jesus’ army. You are putting yourself out there to be attacked. Expect it.
Because we love Jesus and serve Him, we are a prime target for the enemy. Every moment of your life, he tries to take your eyes off of God. His ultimate goal is your destruction. As Jesus tells us in John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” Satan wants to steal from you. He wants to kill you. He wants to destroy you and your life.
Scary, right? But it doesn’t have to be!
As believers in Christ Jesus, we have His Holy Spirit inside of us who protects us completely from Satan. We have been washed with the blood of the Lamb and no weapon formed against us can stand (Is. 54:17). Jesus has actually given us all authority over Satan and his demons. We have the power to tell Satan to leave, to cast out demons, and to break strongholds in Jesus’ name (Luke 10:19).
Believe in that authority, because it comes from God. It is not dependent on your strengths and weaknesses. In fact, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Do not be fearful because fear is from the enemy. The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).
Earlier I mentioned that God takes brokenness and makes it beautiful again. He really does. That’s what He yearns to do. That’s who He is! That’s the whole point of the Gospel! We’re so incredibly broken and awful things happen to us, but Jesus restores us inwardly so we can restore things outwardly (He also takes care of outward things as well!).
He’s currently doing that in my life. Yes, all of those terrible aforementioned things have happened, but here’s what also happened:
- I have valuable bonding time with my family again.
- The Lord has provided me with a good Christian community.
- The Lord just gave me a new job today (I actually got the call today. Woo!)
- He is slowly revealing more of His lovingkindness and His plans for my life through our quiet time together.
So, brothers and sisters, take heart. Remember that no spiritual attack can come to you that God Himself has not allowed. Suffering grows our faith, if we choose to abide in Christ. Christ promised that He Himself will finish the good work He started in you (Phil. 1:6).
Remember that all of the Gospel greats have been viciously attacked because of their potential in Christ. Many of them were promised great things by God and died with that hope (Hebrews 11). But we finish our race well by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, looking at His suffering throughout His ministry and death, and keep running!! (Hebrews 12).
If you are a Christian and you’re being attacked by Satan, rejoice because your name is a threat to the kingdom of darkness. What Satan and the world mean for evil, God means for your GOOD! (Genesis 50:20).
Combat the enemy’s darts through prayer, reading the Word, fasting, staying in community, and just believing that God will redeem you. Behold, He is coming soon on His white horse, ready to reclaim His bride. Trust in that.
Check out what John Piper has to say on Job: