God Plus Me
Many people do not consider the possibility of spiritual warfare as a valid premise in explaining things that happen to them in their world. But, if we refuse to acknowledge the battle between God and Satan as a fundamental fact, then nothing that happens in life or its constant onslaught of problems and troubles makes any sense.
If we refuse to put the Devil into the equation we will be tempted to call God unjust and cruel. If all of life can be explained by “God + Me = All the trouble I see, than either God will have to be “bad” or I will have to be “bad”. If we put the Devil into the equation, the presence of evil is much more easily explained.
If we use the wrong equation to factor for evil, we will never be able to solve the problem of evil. We will grow weary in well doing and may even become bitter against God. We will be stripped of any hope for today or any justice in the sweet hereafter. The stakes are high, because everything that happens to us in the “here and now” carries huge implications, not only for the rest of our lives on earth, but for where we may spend eternity!!
The Devil knows the power of bitterness and uses misunderstanding as a wedge to set us up in opposition to both God and ourselves. What is the counterfeit explanation the Evil One offers for all the misfortune that happens to good people, if not that they are bad or deserving of bad things? Or, that God is disinterested in His creation and not as good as He claims He is. At any rate, the outcome is the same, feeling like we are “mad” at God and God is mad at us.
But, before we judge by the appearance or conclude the matter based on information disseminated by the Liar and filtered through his perversion of our perception, let us take a closer look at the anatomy of trouble. Consider Job. He was a righteous man according to God’s own description of him. Job got caught in a “wager” between the Devil and the Lord God. He ended up being “tested” because the Devil did not believe God’s workmanship in Job was strong enough to stand the test of trouble.
Or, consider Paul the Apostle who was shipwrecked, beaten and left for dead, more than once. Or John the Baptist, beheaded for telling the truth. And what about all the other “good people”, saints of God, many of them, nameless to us, but well known to God, who were persecuted and killed, declared by the Word of God to be those “of whom the world was not worthy”? (Heb. 11:37-38)
It would seem that suffering for righteousness sake is both a problem and a privilege, depending upon how we look at it; a privilege for those who are being “qualified” to rule and reign with Christ and a problem for those who see no future beyond the one they can imagine here on earth.