I don’t know about you but sometimes it seems that it’s one trial after another. I mean sometimes the warfare in life comes from all sides and doesn’t seem to let up. Do you ever feel that way? Like the waves are taking me under and eventually I won’t come back up. I know during these times I must buckle down and stay in God’s Word because it’s in these times, Satan wants to tempt me to stray or just see how down he can get me.
As a child we used to sing to this song, “The devil is a sly old fox, I’d like to kick him and put him in a box. Turn the lock and throw away the key, for all the tricks he’s played on me.” I get that song now as an adult. Yet we have the key to conquering him during these times of warfare. Warfare can be fierce, but we know that God is the answer.
James 1 reminds us , “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. “ I can tell you that several years ago when I was in the pit of despair I was not jumping for joy that I was in a hard trial. I wasn’t thankful one bit for where I was. I was begging God to take the trial from me, to do anything, because it was just too hard. I don’t know where you are, but whether it be sickness, issues with children, divorce, addiction, loss, finances; whatever your trial, it is not always easy to count it all joy in the middle of it. Some days it just takes every muscle to even smile. Yet if we have Christ we are more than conquerors through Him that loves us. In His Word, God is cheering us on, reminding us that we belong to Him and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
For months now I have been on a spiritual high, so excited about God’s Word and the wonderful things God is doing in my life. I don’t know about you, but for me, that is when Satan attacks me every time. He knows where I am weak, and he comes gradually trying to probe me in my weak spot. I have been so excited about having my book finished and ready to conquer life and do whatever God wants, and that’s when a new friend entered my life. This new friend was great. Yet over time I could see his relationship with God was not as it should be. Still I allowed myself to keep in contact. Slowly I was letting my guard down. I realized this is where Satan had me several years ago. I knew I had to flee this new friendship. It was hard because Satan kept enticing me. Satan knows your weakness and he knows mine and that is where he slowly weaves his web of deceit. We have to recognize this and pray and get in His Word like never before and get through the warfare with God’s strength.
I don’t know what you may be going through my friend, but I do know that God calls us let our faith be shown in these times. Faith is the victory, faith is the victory! The trial you are facing will seem but a fleeting moment in time. We will look back and smile in victory knowing that God was with us and drew us close to His side during this time. There are going to be times you want to run because the waves are too high, and you are starting to sink. It’s during those times we must call out to God to help us and He will reach His hand down and pull us out of the rough waters. Don’t give up, there will always be warfare, but the victory is sweet. We aren’t promised a problem free life as a Christian, but we are promised God will walk with us through every trial that comes our way. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
So smile today. Joy is coming in the morning, we read in Psalms. God has a perfect plan for your life and mine. These trials are part of it and we must trust that He knows what we can handle. Can your faith be seen, even in the dark times? James goes on to tell us, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” How exciting is that? Our Pastor, Tom McCoy said this in a recent sermon, “When the waves are tossing you, go deeper, there are no waves on the bottom of the ocean. Go deep in God’s Word, it will keep the surface from killing you.” If we love Jesus we will stick it out and our faith will be seen and the reward will be great. I walked away from my new friend. It wasn’t easy, but it was what was right. May we keep encouraging each other that warfare will come, but the victory will be sweet in the end because greater is He that is within me than He that is in this world. Keep your chin up, and go deeper in God’s Word!