Can the devil and demons cause us trouble? The quick answer, yes. The long answer, yes, but God sets limits and promises to be with you, and restore you. God also promises to rescue those who fear and love Him from all their troubles. Psalms 91:14 tells us, “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name.” For more details, see my blog post called Psalm 91:14-16 — RESCUED FROM TROUBLES. Psalm 34:7 states, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.”
Example of a demon afflicting the Apostle Paul.
The Apostle Paul describes how a demon afflicted him in 2Corinthians 12:7-9,
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8) Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9) But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
God’s grace is enough for us when we suffer hardships. God’s grace is His power in your life. No one knows what the thorn in the flesh was, but Paul did not like it and pleaded with God to remove it. In 2Corinthians 12:10 Paul stated, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Also, in Philippians 4:11 Paul said, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”
An example in the Apostle Peter’s life.
In Luke 22:31-32 Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you (demanded permission), that he might sift you like wheat, 32) but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Your faith will be tested, so expect it. During the test, turn your eyes on God in prayer and receive His comfort.
Paul states in 2Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” God knows hardships are inevitable, so comfort others with the same comfort you received from Him. Jesus comforted Peter after Satan tested his faith (see John 21:15-17), so Peter could have compassion for those whose faith is being tested and can comfort them.
Example in the Christian church.
Jesus says in Revelation 2:10, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Know that God is with you no matter what the hardship is, and you can trust Him to keep His promises to deliver you from all your troubles. Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” And the reason why we have tribulations is explained in 1John 5:19b, which states, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”
Only as you stay in prayer, trusting God to strengthen your faith as you endure the hardship, will you be victorious. 1John 4:4 tells us, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Jesus is greater than Satan, so you can endure in Christ’s strength as Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
To clear up any confusion you may have, I am not saying all hardships come from the devil. Many hardships come through our self-centered, sinful, choices. This concept will be fleshed out in the next blog post.
The example of Job.
We can’t forget about Job (sounds like robe) and the hardships Satan caused. He was very wealthy and devoted to God. But with God’s permission, Satan caused Job’s children to die, lose his wealth, and tormented him with boils over his entire body. Job 1:8-12, states,
“And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’ 9) Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Does Job fear God for no reason? 10) Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11) But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.’ 12) And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.”
Many truths can be found in the book of Job. Job never curses God, and at the end of the story, God gives Job twice as much as he had before (see Job 42:10-17). Could Job’s fear have opened him up to his hardships? Job 3:25 states, “For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.” The Hebrew literal interpretation is “I feared a fear, and it came upon me.”
Fear comes when you stop trusting in God’s protection and focus on the what-ifs that may never happen. Job’s fears opened the door to allow Satan to bring destruction into his life. Many people have unrealistic fears that cause them to become “preppers” (people who stockpile food and goods) for something that may never happen. Some people have a debilitating fear of germs or disease, which entraps them in restrictive behavior. God says in Isaiah 41:10, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Put off the wrong thoughts that lead to fear and pride and bind in the truth, God is your protection and your provider. Read my post on how fear controls you and that God will not forsake you.
There is hope when you look to Jesus to strengthen you and to deliver you from your hardships. I am praying for you. Please leave a comment, I like to hear what your thoughts are.
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P.S.: Experiencing lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).
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