One of the ways Satan tempts God’s children, is by tempting us to despair.
He sees us in our suffering and whispers, “See, this is what you get. It’s not what you hoped for, is it? Now whose fault is that, do you think?”
But Satan can only tempt us to question God’s goodness and power, he can’t make us sin. The Accuser can whisper, suggest, deceive, and lie, but as a created being, he can’t force those who are made in the image of God to sin. All of us must choose to sin against the Creator for ourselves.
And we do, because we are afraid.
“Where are you?” God asked Adam in the garden. He and Eve had just committed the first sin, which was not that they listened to Satan, but that they agreed with his argument. They believed Satan instead of God. Immediately they were afraid.
“We heard you coming, and we were afraid.” Adam said. “And so we hid.”
And through the sin of one man, a very real fear entered the world.
Satan’s goal is to separate us, out of spite, from a God he hates. He does this by presenting twisted half-truths that tempt us to pause, consider, and then agree to his lie that leads to every kind of death: “God is not who He says He is. He is not to be trusted.”
“God is holding out on you” Satan suggests to men without work, and women without babies. “God clearly doesn’t want you to be happy” he lies to the celibate. And to all of us who weep and mourn in our pain and loss, the Enemy whispers back, “God could be good to you, so why isn’t He?”
The Father of Lies slithers through God’s people sowing seeds of doubt, and tempting them to question God’s mercy, power, and provision for them in their distress. His goal is that the world would be ever afraid of our God and suspicious of His motives. That our minds would grow darker, our wills weaker, and our hearts bitter is the Deceiver’s game-plan.
Where are you despairing (of God)?
Where are you afraid that God’s goodness seems to be for everyone but you?
The Tempter is presenting you with an argument that your Heavenly Father is at fault: “If He was really good, really powerful, and really cared, how could He ever let this happen?”
If He was good, why would He ever let this happen? Don’t believe the Liar – his words are a trap and a temptation.
Here is some truth: we have not been abandoned.
Real Hope has come down into the world, entered into the fear, and called us out of the dark.
In Jesus, we see our Creator’s heart, his purpose, and his provision.
There is no condemnation to those who love Him.
We can come out of our hiding, and will not be consumed.
In faith, we entrust ourselves to our Creator’s care, no matter the circumstances.
Tell this to Satan in your suffering today: “My Father gave up his only Son for the rescue of a world that He made and loves. Christ was tempted in every way, but did not despair of His Father’s plan to make peace with the world, which included his own death on a cross!
My God has given me everything, and withheld nothing.
Because I am His, I am covered under the banner of His love and eternal care, come what may. He will help me see you and withstand your temptations. My Father will keep me in his mighty hand all of my days, and I will dwell in his house forever.“
Peace to you all, because He that is in you is SO MUCH GREATER than he that is in the world.