Spiritual Warfare: Faithful in Trial

Sword & Shield SmallNothing pulls us to prayer faster than crisis. As it should. And these days, it seems there are so many difficult situations to take before the Lord. It is a critical time in the lives of our loved ones and in the life of our nation. As the return of Jesus draws ever closer, we will see an increase in pressure, problems, even persecution. The Bible tells us that clearly. (Matt. 24)

Maybe it’s just where I live and the people I know, but there are many who feel they are under an attack from the enemy. And that does happen. It is not our imagination. The enemy comes to “steal, kill and destroy,” (John 10:10.) He also comes to distract and draw off course. He comes to tempt, for sin will destroy us as sure as a deadly disease. The enemy will try anything to weaken our faith, to cause us to question God’s goodness, anything to get us to turn away from our Lord.

Satan’s Motivation

Remember Job? Satan’s motivation is revealed to us in this story. Satan, speaking of Job, says to the Lord, “But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face,” (Job 1:11.) When that didn’t work and Job, by God’s own testimony, “maintained his integrity,” (Job 2:3) Satan wanted to try again. “But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face,” (Job 2:5.)

Satan wanted God to take everything away from Job and to put him in physical agony just so that Job would turn away from God and stop serving and loving Him. Satan wanted Job to curse God to his face. He wanted Job to strike out against God in anger and rebellion and to sever their relationship. Job didn’t do that. Job clung to his knowledge of God in faith. God, in return, used the situation to teach Job, bringing him even deeper in his knowledge of God and then healed him and blessed his life twice as much. (Job 42:10.)

Faithful Under Attack

In the midst of our trials, we need to remember Job. We need to remember that it is Satan who wants us to turn away from God in doubt. We must remember to always turn TO the Lord and never away. We must remember that John 10:10 does not end with the thief coming to steal and kill and destroy. Jesus Himself was speaking and He said, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

When we are under attack and are suffering loss or suffering in our body, we need to be like Job and remain faithful to God, refusing to turn and curse Him. Instead, we remain faithful in our love for Him. Faithful in trusting Him. Faithful in prayer. I saw someone post on Facebook recently that she didn’t understand God’s plan for her life, but she loved Him still. That is a beautiful statement of faith. We have to remember that while God may have allowed this trial to come, He is with us and He will bring us through it. If we will trust Him, we will come out stronger and twice as blessed.

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A Grateful Heart is a Happy Heart

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. A time to get together with family and friends—and feast! I mean, give thanks.

The Bountiful Life

The lavish Thanksgiving table that most of us indulge in symbolizes to me the bountiful life that we have. We have so much! So much food, so many material possessions.  Truly, we live in a land of plenty. And though many, many households have experienced financial loss in the past several years, even in our struggles, we are far richer than most of the world.

We have to keep perspective to stay thankful. It’s easy to focus on things we need and areas where our checkbook falls short, but when we think about the 870 million people who are hungry today (source) and who do not have enough food, we quickly realize we are blessed.

Gratefulness is Good for You

We have much to be thankful for, so we need to actively give thanks. This is a great time of year to be reminded how valuable a grateful heart is. It’s the perfect time to start a gratefulness journal to jot down 3-5 things a day, or even every week, for which we are thankful.

Studies show that gratefulness will literally make us “happier and healthier.” It will improve our outlook on life and encourages positive interactions with others. “Recent studies have concluded that the expression of gratitude can have profound and positive effects on our health, our moods and even the survival of our marriages.” (For this source and more info, click here.) That’s a lot of benefits for just saying, “Thank you, Lord.”

Although it shouldn’t surprise us that there are such positive results from a grateful heart because God’s ways are always life-giving. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thess. 5:18.)

Thankfulness in Hard Times

In all circumstances. Sometimes it is hard to give thanks. Sometimes the heartache and stress in our lives is overwhelming, but if we will choose to give thanks, the Lord will bless us for our obedience. Thanking God in and through and for everything will lift our eyes to where they need to be and we will be reminded that we serve a good God who cares for us.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (I Chron. 16:34.)

May your heart be happy and light this Thanksgiving as you look up and give thanks.

 

*I’m giving thanks in all things this holiday, even though my family won’t be together. My daughter is in Hawaii (where she lives) and my oldest son is visiting friends in South Dakota. Most importantly, my husband is away at work, but my youngest son is here with me and we have a large, wonderful extended family to give thanks with and I am so grateful for that.

What are you giving thanks for? What are you giving thanks for in spite of…?


  • Hi, I'm Erica ~ a wife, a mom, a Christian speaker, singer, author, and worship leader. I love coffee & chocolate, reading & writing, music & more music, Facebook & Twitter, time with family & friends! Thanks for dropping by ~ I hope you are encouraged here.

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