I’ve often wondered what it would be like if life didn’t come with trials. What if life was all candy and roses? What if we could live life without the suffering of illness and loss? Or live without the stresses of work and paying bills? What if our children were perfect and never gave us grey hairs? Unlikely to happen, but how we handle tough situations can determine the course of our future.
The enemy likes to use tough times to try and break us down and make us less useful to God. He is cunning and knows that a Christian that if focused on God’s work is unstoppable and his efforts to thwart God at every moment, drives him to take our focus off of God and put it on ourselves. I’ve noticed, that when I get more focused on God, the trials and stresses rise. When I feel God tugging me in a direction to go, everything that life throws at me seems to be pushing me away. The enemy isn’t stupid, he knows that God has great things planned for us. If he can keep us from our full potential in Christ, then the enemy scores a victory.
But the awesome thing is, we have power over that….we can refuse to give the enemy his victory. Not an easy task by no means, but we can do it if we keep our focus on Christ. Through the haze of trials and struggles, look for the bright light that will lead us back to Christ. When we are feeling lost and alone, be still and you will feel God’s presence waiting for you to find it again. When we feel that we are down and buried in troubles, know that the hand on our shoulder, lifting us up is that of Jesus Christ.
When Paul talks about his “thorn in his flesh”, which was the enemies way to attack Paul and keep him from being all that God had planned, he say’s he asked, in fact begged the Lord to remove it. But the Lord’s answer was always,
My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
God is given all the glory when we endure an attack from the enemy, but keep our sights on Christ. I always envision the devil running away and cowering in fear when the hand of God lifts up the believer whom the devil was trying to hold down.
But we always have a choice…..when we are attacked, when the enemy tries his best to hold us back, whether through depression or anxiety, or a physical ailment, or perhaps just a busy schedule, we can choose to be burdened and kept from experiencing God’s full grace (which is always enough) or we can reach out our hand, find Christ who is right there and pull ourselves forward in Christ…and when we do that, we are refusing to give the enemy his victory over us, but we are accepting the gift of Christ, whom has already won the war.