The Enemy is Bad, but You’re Stronger Than You Think

When walking through hard times is easy to think that Satan can’t be beat. With God on your side, you are stronger than you think.

Today I want to look at the 5th why that keeps you from being truly courageous with your faith when you are walking through hard times. We have looked at lies that your feelings tell you, lies you believe about the Lord,  lies you believe about yourself, and lies you believe about your situation. 

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You Think Satan is Unstoppable

Today we are going to look at lies that you believe about the enemy. This often sounds something like, I can’t beat the enemy. He’s too powerful and scary. Scripture is clear. If you are a follower of Jesus, you have a target on your back. There’s an enemy out there that wants to destroy you. 

1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be sober-minded. Be watchful. Your adversary of the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him firm in your faith knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 

An adversary is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. He wants to devour you. He wants to keep you from embracing the truth of the gospel. He wants to keep you from living an abundant and fruitful life. 

He wants to keep you from furthering the kingdom and bringing God glory here on earth. And he will use anything available to him to do that. A lot of times we get this picture of the devil as this being who’s all-powerful, undefeatable, and he’s big and scary. 

You think there’s nothing that you can do about it. He’s just going to keep running over me and I can’t do anything to stop him. Not true! The bible is clear in Ephesians 6, the armor of God passage, it tells you how you can wage spiritual warfare and defeat the enemy. 

You Don’t Want to Acknowledge the Devil

The flip side of this coin that I hear a lot is that sometimes people don’t even want to acknowledge the devil.  Thinking that if you don’t bother him, he won’t bother you. That is not true. The simple fact that you love the Lord is a threat to his plan and purpose. Which means that he’s going to come after you. 

If you refuse to acknowledge his existence and his plan is for you, then you are easy pickings. You don’t want to do that. You want to be a woman of strong faith. You want to be a courageous woman who’s able to stand firm against whatever the enemy is trying to come at you with. To fight back because you have that authority as a daughter of the king. 

Jesus as Your Example

Let’s look at the best example of how to combat this idea that the devil is an all-powerful, all-mighty, and undefeatable being. Jesus shows you how to deal with this why when we’re walking through hard times. We’re going to take a look at Matthew 4:1-11

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry and the temperature came to him. If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. But he answered, it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by the word that comes from the mouth of God. Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple. And he said to him, if you’re the son of God, throw yourself down. It is written. He will command his angels concerning you and on their hands, they’ll bear you up, let you strike your foot against the stone. And Jesus said to him, again, it is written, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test. Again. The devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, all these I will give to you, he fought out and worshiped me. And then Jesus said to him, be gone. Satan, for it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and only and Him only shall you serve. And then the devil left Him and behold, angels came and we’re ministering to him.”

I love this passage of scripture. It’s so powerful. Jesus is getting ready to enter into his ministry and he is off fasting, praying, and preparing himself to do the work that God has called him to do. Essentially he’s at his weakest point. No food, no drink, no people, and the enemy shows up and tries to tempt him. 

This is what happens to you. You often find yourself spiritually at your weakest point when you are going through hard things because it’s hard. It’s exhausting. It takes a lot out of you. Sometimes we’re not in your word, praying, or fellowshipping like you should be in the good times. 

So, you don’t have what you need when the hard times come. The devil sees you and thinks you’re exactly where he wants you to be an easy target.  But here’s the thing, 1 Peter verse says to resist the devil and hell go away. Jesus gives us the blueprint for doing this. 

No matter what the enemy tried to throw at Jesus, he always came back at him with the truth. You have to do the same thing. Stand on the truth and use scripture to beat back the enemy.  Because he may be a roaring lion seeking to devour you, but he has no teeth.

He’s all bark and no bite because you have been given authority by your father in heaven to overcome anything that he may try to do. He’s not impossible to defeat. You just need to look at how the enemy works. If you know how the enemy works, then you can prepare yourself and know how to fight back. 

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How the Enemy Works

Truthfully, he doesn’t have a whole bunch of tricks. He kind of has this one trick that he does over and over again. And because he’s done it for thousands of years, he’s gotten really good at it. Scripture tells you that he’s a liar. Not only is he a liar, but he is the father of lies. 

Scripture also says that there’s no truth found in him. So the enemy is incapable of being honest and telling the truth. Likewise, God is not capable of lying. God speaks the truth always. If God were to look at a green apple and say it was an orange, he’s speaking the truth, and that thing would turn into an orange. 

He can’t lie. What he speaks is what happens. The devil is the opposite of that. He likes to plant little seeds of doubt. He’s not going to flat-out say an obvious lie because you’ll catch onto that. Instead, he will twist things subtly. He’s done it in the past and he does it today.

If you look at Matthew 4:6, this is the point where the devil is trying to tell Jesus to attempt suicide. Ultimately he planned to keep Jesus from dying on the cross. When he tells Jesus to throw himself down because the angels will come. But Jesus says, “it is written”.

Jesus is combating him with the truth. And the devil says, oh, well, it’s written that he will command his angels concerning you. He tries to weaponize scripture against Jesus. He will do the same thing to you. So what you can pull away from this passage is that the key to defeating the enemy is by standing firm 1 Peter said. 

How do you do that? You do that by fighting with the truth of scripture. This is what Jesus does. Every time Satan comes at him with something he replies, “It is written”. He’s talking about scriptures. He’s saying, this is what the Lord says. This is what is true. 

And because this is true, your trick, your scheme, and your plan is not going to work. You’re not going to influence me and you don’t have power over me. What you’re trying to do is going to fail to work. Eventually, the devil leaves and goes away. The same is true for you. 

I know it can seem like he’s constantly pestering you, but eventually, if you stand true and don’t budge, he will give up and go away. He’s going to come back, but for a season he will go and leave you alone. The whole thing of combating these lies is a journey to find the truth about yourself, your situation, and your struggles.

So that when the hard times come you know how to stand against whatever the enemy is trying to do. 

Asking God Why

This brings us to talking about why. Often when you’re going through hard things, you want to know why this is happening. Why does this hurt? Why is this person hurting me? Why am I experiencing this loss? It’s a really hard question because you just want to make sense of things. 

You want to understand what’s going on. Sometimes God answers and tells you why. He will say, this is why this person had to leave your life. Often that question is met with silence. God doesn’t always give us answers, and I think that’s actually a good thing. 

If you got every answer to every question that you ever asked, I think it would overwhelm you. God is all-knowing. He knows why everything is happening and he knows what’s going to happen. In his grace and his love for his children, he withholds some of that from you so that you’re not overwhelmed or crushed by the weight of things. 

What you have to do as his child is learn to be okay with not knowing. When Job cried out to God and asked why is all this bad stuff happening to him, the Lord did not answer him. He never gave Job the reason why.  We have the benefit of having scripture, and we know why. 

It’s because he was a man of integrity and God knew that he would stand strong to his faith, but God doesn’t tell that to Job. Instead, basically what he tells Job is, “I’m God and I’m sovereign.” That’s where you have to land when things are so hard and you want to know why. 

It’s okay to ask God why. You are his child. He is your Father. He wants you to come to him and ask those questions. But you have to be okay when he doesn’t answer. When in his infinite love and wisdom he chooses to not answer you, be okay with just accepting He is a sovereign God. 

Final Thoughts on Being Stronger Than You Think

When you can get to that point, it’s easier. I know that it’s not easy to get there. How do you get to that point of accepting God’s sovereignty and not understanding why? First, you have to know the Lord. Understand who He is, his character, his promises, his nature, and how he works. 

If you don’t truly know the Lord, you’re going to interpret his non-answer of why like he doesn’t care. You’ll believe He’s mean or cruel. I see it all the time. People asking, what kind of God would take my mother, would take my friend, would take my child, allow this earthquake to happen and kill these people, etc. 

When people ask those questions it’s because they don’t understand God’s heart. Listen, God does not delight in your pain, misery, and seeing you walk through hard things. That’s not his ideal goal for you. The Garden of Eden is what he planned for you. There was no hurt, no pain, no loss, no death. That is God’s heart for you. 

If you don’t understand that, then you’ll take everything personally and you don’t want that to happen. You’ve got to get to know the Lord and understand his heart. And that only comes by spending time in the Word. The more that you study and learn about God, the more that you can rest in His sovereignty, knowing that he’s in control and that he has a plan. 

You understand that there’s sin in the world that you have no control over, and that things have to run their course. If you are in a place where you are struggling with why, keep asking why. But the answer to your why may be that God is God. 

If you can stop being controlled by your emotions, it allows you to finally be in a place where you can find out who God is that informs who you are. When you know who God is and who you are, that helps you keep your circumstances in proper perspective. 

When you can do all of that, then defeating the enemy becomes easier. All of these things work together. Spending time in God’s word, thinking through what you’re reading and what he’s saying to you. Spending time in prayer and when something pops up, dealing with that with the Lord. 

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