We are exploring different reasons why suffering exists and how we can be more than conquerors with the suffering we face (Romans 8:37). Many people find suffering to be the greatest roadblock in following Jesus. They simply cannot reconcile why a good God could allow bad things to happen. I pray some of these conversations help answer those questions and give perspective as to why suffering exists. There are reasons for suffering. We live in a broken creation. We are humans who make mistakes. Jesus promises persecution for those who follow him. And other people’s sin can bring on suffering. Here is another reason for suffering. Because of Satan’s attacks. Satan studies our lives, knows our weaknesses, and attacks accordingly. In the same way a sports team studies their opponent’s game film to prepare for an upcoming game, Satan studies our game films. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12 that he had a thorn in his flesh that was a direct assault from Satan. Any follower of Jesus is an opponent to Satan’s plans and he wants to take you down. Look at the story of Job in chapters 1-2. Satan is prowling around looking for someone to attack and does everything he can to cause Job to turn from the Lord. Or Luke 22:31 where Jesus tells Simon Peter that “Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat.” What do we do? First, we must realize that our war is not against flesh and blood but powers and principalities of the darkness, led by Satan himself (Ephesians 6:12). Also, we realize that Satan is a creature and God is the Creator. God rules over Satan’s wiles. Next, we must also daily put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). Be specific about each piece of the armor. God’s truth holding each piece of the armor together. Guard your mind with the helmet of salvation. Hold high the shield of faith. Protect your heart with the breastplate of righteousness. That way, you are ready when, not if, the enemy attacks. And wield the sword, the only offensive weapon, which is God’s Word. Finally, walk with a swagger. You’ve won! Jesus who lives in you is greater than he, Satan, who lives in the world (1 John 4:4).
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