The enemy and his demonic army are ruthless and relentless. But Christ-followers have no reason to become discouraged! Why? Because God is the Creator. The evil one is only a creature. This creature goes by many names: the devil, Satan, the great divider, the father of lies. But no matter what name he is called, he is under God’s sovereignty. He can’t do anything unless our Father in heaven allows it. Numerous examples of this truth are found in the Bible. Look at Peter for one. Jesus predicted Peter would be disloyal to him (Luke 22:31-34). Peter objected and proudly proclaimed he would never desert Jesus. He had left everything to follow Jesus and was willing to die for him. But Satan knew Peter’s weak spot. And despite his devotion to Jesus, circumstances drove Peter to panic to the point that he denied Jesus. Not once. But three times. Jesus granted Satan permission to carry out this attack. Why? Jesus used Satan to grow Peter’s faith so that after he had passed through the trial he could help others grow their faith. And while Satan may be a formidable foe, he is overseen by the Creator. He is under the complete and sovereign control of God. Jesus told Peter that after Satan had sifted him, his faith would increase. It would become secure like never before. And it did. After Jesus’ death, Peter became the head of the apostles. He was the first one to preach on the day of Pentecost after the coming of the Holy Spirit, and he was the first to perform a miracle (Acts 2,3). Look how many people’s faith grew because Jesus permitted Satan to sift Peter like wheat! Could God be using spiritual assaults and a spirit of fear in your life to deepen your faith in him? To show you places where your life isn’t completely hidden in Jesus (Colossians 3:3)? To give you insights into areas where you aren’t finding rest for your soul (Matthew 11:29)? To help you serve someone else going through your trial? God uses evil, pain, and even the enemy himself to sift us like wheat. To help us learn how to serve others. To drive out our pride. Our bitterness. Self-righteousness. And, yes, our anxiety. Next time you recognize one of the devil’s schemes, remember God’s sovereignty. Look the devil in the eye and say, “Oh, it’s just you.” Then, keep moving through your day. Or take a nap. God is sovereign. He is in control. He’s got this.
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