Do you ever get bombarded by fearful thoughts that keep coming at you and you have a hard time shaking them? You give them over to the Lord, but then they return, and so you give them to the Lord, and you reject them again, but then they return. Satan is fighting against you, for certain.
Do you know that when the Bible says that we are to resist the devil and that he will flee from us, that he may not flee immediately? He will eventually flee, but sometimes resisting him isn’t a one-time resist and then he is gone, just like putting sin to death in our lives is continuous.
Satan doesn’t give up easily. Part of the purpose of his attacks against us is to try to wear us down so that we will eventually yield. And this is why we have to put on that armor of God and stand strong against the wiles of the devil and let him know we mean business, and God will give us the victory.
So, why does he try to make us afraid? Because he wants us to doubt God, for fear is doubting God. It is saying to God that we believe he can’t handle our situation, whatever it is, and that somehow we have to fret over it, or that we have to take matters into our own hands to make it happen.
The devil wants us to lose faith in God and to regain control over our own lives, for then he feels he has us in the palm of his hand. Then he feels that he can work us until he gets us to return to who we were before we believed in Jesus Christ. So, we can’t give in to him one iota.
God, who made us, is all powerful, and all knowing, and ever present always everywhere, so there is nothing which escapes his notice, and there is nothing that happens to us unless he allows it to happen, and there is nothing that comes into our lives that he can’t handle.
Worrying never makes anything better. Fretting over situations doesn’t change anything. It just makes us sick physically and not spiritually sound, either. Thinking we know better than God, or that we can do a better job than him doesn’t work, either. He made us. He’s God. He can handle it!
Jeremiah 32:17 ESV
“Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.”
God is not limited in power and strength. He knew this was going to happen before he even made us. None of this takes him by surprise. And he had a plan even before the creation of the world for our lives and for every situation in our lives to fulfill his purpose in our lives. So, no matter what we are going through, we need to trust Him fully, and not give way to doubt.
I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept for humans to grasp, but even for those of us who have walked in fellowship many years with the Lord, we need to be reminded that God is in control, and that he is all powerful, and he is completely sovereign over all that he has made.
And we need to keep trusting the Lord in all things and for all things that he has a plan and that he is going to work his plan in our circumstances. We don’t need to help him out. He’s got this! We just need to listen to what he tells us to do and then we just need to obey him, and then let him work.
Yes, nothing is too hard for him, but this doesn’t mean that he will do anything. He will not sin. He will not lie. He will not do anything which goes against his divine character and will for our lives. He cannot be less than who he is. And he isn’t here to do our bidding. We are here to do his.
So, knowing that God is in control doesn’t mean he will work out our circumstances the way we want them to work, or the way that we think is best. He will work all things for the good of those who love him (who obey him), but it may not be the good we desire, but it will be what is best for us.
Also, our Lord never said we wouldn’t have to suffer. It doesn’t mean that God approves of the bad stuff that happens to us, for he does not approve of sin, but he allows sin to exist, and he allows wicked people to exist and to do wicked things, so he may or may not rescue us physically from oppression.
But we still have to trust him. We still have to believe he is good and that what he allows in our lives is for our good, even if what is allowed is not good in and of itself. For, he will allow us to be hated and persecuted and mistreated and lied about and sinned against, but we are blessed.
We are blessed because we are sharing in the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. For our suffering serves a purpose, for it draws us closer to the Lord, if we will let it, and we mature in our walks of faith, and we learn perseverance, and we learn to rely on God and not on ourselves. And we become more compassionate towards others, too.
All of this is learning to live by faith and not by sight, to walk with our Lord in obedience to his commands, to follow him wherever he leads us, and to trust him fully with our lives, no matter what comes into our lives. We need to believe that he is God and that he can handle whatever comes our way.
Living by Faith
Lyrics by James Wells, 1918
v. 4 by Robert E. Winsett, 1918
Music by J. L. Heath, 1918
I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain,
The Lord I know ruleth o’er everything,
And all of my worries are vain.
Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.
Though tempests may blow and the storm clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I’m never alarmed at the overcast skies—
The Master looks on at the strife.
I know that He safely will carry me through,
No matter what evils betide;
Why should I then care though the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side.
Our Lord will return for His loved ones someday,
Our troubles will then all be o’er;
The Master so gently will lead us away,
Beyond that blest heavenly shore.
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