Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7 MKJV)
When the devil oppresses God’s children, he not only seeks to persuade them to believe God doesn’t love them, but also wants them to lose confidence in the power God has to deliver them from the hands of their enemies. His argumentation may look like this: “If God loves you, then why let all these bad things happen to you? And if God is more powerful than your enemies, then why doesn’t He stop them from hurting you?” Do you see how this could play out in the minds of people who aren’t grounded in the truth? Can you see how it could cause them to stumble in their faith while going through severe trials? Sadly, many people have lost hope in God because they’ve fallen into the snare of believing such lies.
Don’t be deceived! Oppression isn’t evidence that God is powerless against the enemy, nor is it a sign that He lacks love for us; rather, it’s proof that the devil is defeated! You see, the devil goes after God’s children in this way, because they pose a threat to his plans. What else does this suggest but that he’s fearful of something? But what does he fear? He fears the holiness of God! And his fear is proof that he can’t be greater than God, for God is fearless. Therefore, we can be sure that what God has told us about the fate of the devil will happen. If you’re familiar with the Bible, then you should know that it tells us that the devil knows his time is short (see Revelation 12:12). In other words, he won’t be around to harass God’s people forever. At some point, his malicious plot to destroy faith in God will come to end, and he will be no more (see Malachi 4:1). In fact, Jesus made the devil’s defeat known when He said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
It’s important to understand that when God finally casts the devil into the lake of fire, it won’t be because God feels threatened by him; rather, it will be because his time has run out. He would have failed to prove that his way is better than God’s way. This goes all the way back to the garden of Eden, where the devil challenged the authority of Yahweh, by giving Eve the impression that God was keeping something good from her when He commanded her not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And he’s been doing this ever since, that is, he’s been attempting to get people to believe that life without God’s commandments is a happier existence, that they can be their own god, and live by their own rules.
One only has to remember what happened to Jesus on the cross as a result of sin, to see how great a liar the devil is, and how he is filled with hatred! The irony here, of course, is that the death of Jesus revealed how great God’s love is for us! Indeed, God’s ways are better than the devil’s ways; and in due time, all will see that love has triumphed over evil. The devil won’t be able to hurt God’s children anymore. But until that happens, we can be sure that the devil will try to shipwreck our faith. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised when we go through fiery trials; this is to be expected (see 1 Peter 4:12-13; 2 Timothy 3:12).
Just because you may be going through hard times, it doesn’t mean you can’t rejoice in Christ. Jesus said “Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for your reward in Heaven is great. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12 MKJV). Indeed, we have good reason to rejoice, for Jesus has overcome the world! And He has prepared a place for us in heaven. That means He will come again to receive us. But we must do our part to endure to the end, so that we may receive the reward (see John 14: 1-3, 16:33; Matthew 24:13).
No matter what happens, always remember to express gratitude to God for what He has done for you through Jesus Christ. Don’t let your circumstances silence your faith, but lift up the name of Jesus wherever you go. As long as you continue to do that, Satan will not succeed in disconnecting your faith from God.