There have been several periods in my life where I have felt profoundly hopeless, or at least short on my supply of hope. I’ve keenly wondered where God was and how He planned to restore my hope and the feeling that I was truly blessed. I wanted to believe, yet I also wanted to not have too much trouble seeing. To demand to see is to long to feel easily aware of what we would rather not hang our whole beings on in unflinching belief.
How little, as a people, we are open to hardships that test our beliefs, and draw out our neediness for God. We can easily proclaim that He is all that we need, when we want to feel very spiritual about our relationship with God, but when we see God test, that we treat it as the worst thing in the world.
And, perhaps it is. Perhaps God’s work to establish our souls in Him through situations and events that only faith will fit is the worst thing the god of this world and his followers will ever know. Yet, it is not something they can have any more effect on. What evidences we do see of their activity in and around us has been no less than schemes submitted to the authority of God and permitted that He might accomplish His purposes in us in such a way that He might exterminate evil and rebuff Satan at the same time, even at the point of his greatest contention: our hearts’ most deeply held allegiance.
Think about it: All the demons in this world — forces in number and power we could not fathom — seek day and night to destroy us, but remain entirely subject to our Father in heaven. They cannot make a move without His knowledge and permission.
Now, this fact may startle some of us, and make us question how the God we serve should be justified in allowing evil to have its way with us at any point. We might decide in a fit of confused rebellion, I will not accept this!
But, please, pause for a moment and consider our alternative: Evil with complete control of our lives. This is what Jesus died to save us from!
God is the One to save us from the evil we fear and the death we are powerless to ward off. Believing in Him and the power of His death to deliver us from evil does not mean that we will never again experience the effects of evil, however. While on this earth, we live in the presence of evil and the bitter consequences of its power; yet, one thing we may already know to be lifted from us, and that is sin’s legal power — it can no longer separate us from the forgiving mercy and loving security of God. We who are in Christ can know in full, throughout our time on earth, the freedom Christ has bought for us from death, damnation and a darkened heart.
That is all the blessing we really need in this life; as Romans 8:31 says, “So what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?” Take this to heart, and you will take Him to heart as well. Amen.