“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." I Peter 5:8
January is a time when so many people I know are tempted to be discouraged, and feel like giving up--on something! I think that it is true that what goes up, must come down. Adrenalin, energy and ideals are up in early December, and then in January it is cold, bills from Christmas come in, the celebrations are over, and so often, people feel the weight of those things causing their adrenalin, emotional, and spiritual tanks to be low.
There is an enemy who hates for us to keep faithful to our ideals for our families and for the Lord. Satan, Peter tells us, is our adversary. He prowls through the earth, like he did when he asked God if he could seek to destroy Job. Like he did when Jesus said to Peter, "Satan desires to sift you like wheat." Peter, who was so personally experienced at this, because of Satan tempting him to deny Christ at the crucifixion, warns us to be on the alert. He is seeking, Peter tells us, to devour us!
We are, after all, in a battle, that rages in this world--a battle for the hearts and souls giving allegiance to the one true God, to believe in His goodness, to give the gift of our faith in the darkness--to choose to believe and praise and worship and live for His reality yet to be revealed.
We are getting slowly used to stepping beyond our difficulties and seeing who is really at war with us. I have learned to ask myself questions in the midst of my own dark times, as well as sharing them with other women.
Who would like for you to remain bitter and discouraged?
Who would like for you to give up on your ideals--to say, "I can't do this anymore"?
Who wants you to be angry at your spouse? To be resentful of your children? Your family? Your in-laws?
Who wants you to worry and fret and stew and hold on to pet fears?
Who is trying to separate you from your friends?
Who is tempting you to think that God does not hear prayer, that He doesn't really care about you?
Who wants you to doubt God’s goodness?
I think that it is at this very moment--when the darkness comes in--that faith is of most value and pleases God the most and absolutely frustrates Satan. Satan doesn't think we will believe and be strong. God is already waiting to lead and provide and help. But we have this honorable moment, when we can say, "I love You. I believe You. I will choose to trust You."
David reminds us in the Psalm 139: 7,
"Where can I go from thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, (hell) behold you are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn and dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there your hand will lead me and your right hand will take hold of me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night," Even the darkness is not dark to you and the night is as bright as teh day. Darkness and light are alike to you."
And so, we who are the children of the light, can be comforted by Him, who sees all, is over all, is with us through it all, and He will use it for our good and for His glory. May He give you encouragement today!