Everyone goes through difficult times in their life in various forms of traumas, heartbreaks, sickness,pain, betrayals and disappointments. Maybe your going through a painful time in a relationship, family, work or school. You could be going through emotional or financial loss. You’re hurt confused and angry. Maybe your situation is so dire you’ve been walking around with a leaking faith tank mad and frustrated with God. Maybe you’re wondering why is this happening to you why is God letting you suffer? But just who is to blame for pain and suffering in the world? It’s almost comical how many Christians are so quick to blame God knowing what the Word says from the 100s of hours they spend studying it and without so much a remembrance or reference to the cause of it all, the devil, is worthy of eyeball rolling. We have to remember the Christian life is a life of tribulation.
Why is this? Spiritual gullibility has a lot to do with it. Churches preach dainty, cotton, candy sermons always sunny side up laced with prosperity get blessed quick schemes that makes Christianity feel like an after school club where the requirements of membership is a bowl of potato salad once awhile for the monthly pot luck! If Christianity was that laid back and if God was so easily satisfied and pleased with a no brainer, takes no effort tribute (such has become the twisted modern day tithe) then every person in congregations in America would be millionaires and not just the ministers! God isn’t calling you to prosper materialistically as the church so wants you to believe,God doesn’t want or need our money, He wants our love and obedience. He tells us over and over money isn’t important for us. He wants us to prosper spiritually and we can’t do that if we’re not taught how to fuel our spirit, how to stand firm in it and how to defend it!
What Christians understand;
That for now the devil rules the world, we are all born from sin and have a sin nature and God has given man free will. That’s quite a recipe for evil to prevail. We’re given a choice live for good or evil. And good isn’t easy. And here in the darkness is where Christianity thrives, we are the lampposts in the world,it’s here in the midst of chaos the strong and faithful are separated from the lukewarm and it is here we prevail and persist to attain to the prize, the awesome gift of heaven.
Three things that are in our power to investigate for the cause of our tribulations
1) What kind of a Christian are we? And what and who have we filled our life with?
2) Suffering is a shaping tool God allows the devil to inflict on His called children… We must go through hardships to enter the kingdom of heaven(Act 12:22) It refines and strengthens-if your suffering be glad because that means Gods going to use you for something amazing He’s just trying to get your attention. And Jesus suffered so of course we will too.
3) Do you know the enemy? Do you understand evil has rule over the world? How well armed are you? Are you prepared?
Why is there is so much pain and suffering in the world? Because the devil rules it and this ain’t no time for tea parties when you have a big ol bullz eye on your back. But not many people really realize evil rules the world. They think God does and therefor evil isn’t in charge.
I am a good example of how destructive ignorance is when you have it in your heart that all people are good thinking evil was a word reserved for the hitlers of the world. My heart and mind became an open invitation for evil to slip in unnoticed and spinn miles and miles of webs laced with deceit. Much of my past bares its consequences in scars left criss crossed over and through years of my life. Unfortunately evil first came in the form of my family. That opened the door to the devil to create a whole world of lies for me to fall into and built a foundation for every decision I made . Evil is everywhere no one is infallible to it. We know from the Bible bad people dominate the world. when the Lord said few will enter heaven He was letting us know the world is filled with bad people. A few scriptures about entering heaven.Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23, 22:13-14, 25:10, 28:31-46,Luke 13:22-24, Romans 9:27-28.
HOW WE KNOW THE WHOLE WORLD LIES IN THE POWER OF THE dEVIL (1 John 5:19)
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by satan and was offered all the glory and power of the kingdoms of the world if only He would bow down to him Jesus didn’t correct his ability to deliver (Matthew 4:8) So we know the worlds in the claws of the devil because it wouldn’t have been a temptation if it wasn’t his to give…
And when Jesus was arrested He told His disciples ..“I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler (prince)of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; (John 14:30)
From Genesis straight through to Revelations we are warned about the devil who along with his angels have been here since the beginning. …
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:9)… Notice it says that he deceives the whole world.
How Does He Deceive?
Like he did with Eve…. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. ( 2 Corinthians 11:3) …he’s deceptive in form….
No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Who Does He Try to Deceive?
Everyone! It makes no difference if you are born again, we’re still vulnerable to evil..But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? (Acts 5:3)
How Vast is the devils Army?
…For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12) A whole lot of wickedness!
Our Best Plan of Defense is..
….Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) and by….. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)
what is the Armor of God?
1)the Girdle of Truth;since satan is the father of lies and he tries to convince us that it’s ok to veer slightly from the Word of God as he did to Adam and Eve we have to arm ourselves with the girdle of truth.
2) the Breastplate of Righteousness; the righteousness of Christ imputed by God and received by faith which guards our hearts when we are committed to holiness, obedience and righteousness.
3)the Shoes of the Gospel of peace– means we are to advance Gods kingdom by being a light sharing our faith with the lost-there is no greater mindset of courage and this makes for powerful protection.
4) the Shield of Faith. we must have confidence in Gods promises and know them so when the devil tries to deceive us about any past,present and future promise we are able to deflect them away from our hearts and mind. We either can believe the devil or believe God. But you can’t defeat him if you don’t know the Word. Jesus defeated the devil in the wilderness by quoting promises from God. It is pure foolishness to think we don’t need to do the same and more.
5)The Helmet of Salvation if we have continually feed our minds with the Word than the devil can’t play mind games with us about the truth of our salvation,the readability of the Bible and the divinity of Christ.
6)the Sword of the Spirit-of all the weapons this one is non defensive. The sword is the Word of God. We use it to quote what is true and what is right when satan tempts us with lies. This is one piece of armor Christians today are incompetent in and that is their death sentence.
7)The Weapon of Prayer-Prayer is so powerful yet so underused! We are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)Prayer is how we gain strength to use the other weapons, prayer surrounds them all.
A few examples about how we can make sure we aren’t blocking God’s protection .…
*The fear of the LORD leads to life,So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil. (Proverbs 19:23)
*We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. (1 John 5:18)
*Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
*For he is Gods servant for your good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. (Romans 13:4)
*But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13
So one of the facts about the causes of suffering is the devil. We can’t let him get a stronghold into our life. Even the smallest deviation from the path of righteousness reaps consequences. Size doesn’t mater sin is sin in the eyes of God. Lying is the same as murder. God doesn’t list sin in order of bad to worse like man does. The Lord says if…For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. (James 2:10)
Next writing post on suffering we’ll look at if we are getting in Gods way and contributing to it. I end with this for you Philippians 4:7-9
…Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.