Monday, July 17, 2017

“Heavenly Machinations” Part 2

"Heavenly Machinations"   

Part 2
   As mentioned in Part 1 of this consideration, no Biblical evidence exists that Job knew anything about the discourse between God and Satan that occurred before his trial.  Moreover, we do not even know if Job was aware of the devil's existence.

    "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8).

   What would have changed in Job's response to challenge had he realized that "fiery darts of the wicked" pierced him rather than "the arrows of the Almighty" he wrongly perceived? (Ephesians 6:16; Job 6:4).  How does Truth help us to deal with pain, loss, difficulty, heartache, and heartbreak?  First, it does not immediately lessen our hurts.  God dispenses realized comfort according to His perfect wisdom.  This may sometimes involve the lingering of discomfort and difficulty.  He takes no pleasure in lengthening our enemies' leash, and thus allowing painful challenges to occur and continue.  However, our Heavenly Father seeks our best interests rather than our creature comforts.  He also knows and possesses perfect confidence in His ability to use Satan's attacks in our lives for the ongoing transformation of His children to the Savior's spiritual and moral image.  Thus, our knowledge of Truth may not instantly apply balm to pain because the discomfort may be necessary for God's perfect purposes in our lives.  Would the devil's fiery darts, as allowed by God, have been instantaneously less painful if Job had rightly perceived them according to Truth?  Likely not.

   On the other hand, Truth does greatly enable us to bear our difficulties, and to do so with grace.  "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf… Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator" (I Peter 4:16; 19).  The Romans said of 1st century Christians, even as they persecuted and martyred them, "They die well."  Truth makes for such nobility of character, as formed in us by the Lord Jesus.  We may shed no less tears in our sorrows.  But the tears will be sweet rather than bitter as we realize the true nature of our conflict, and even more, as we trust our Father's wisely applied continuance of our trial, or deliverance therefrom.  "As for God, His way is perfect" declared David of the Truth that the Lord either delivers us from our troubles, or He delivers us in them (II Samuel 22:31). 

   A final thought.  While we may know in principle that the devil and his minions exist, and that many of our trials involve not God's arrows, but our enemy's fiery darts, we often forget.  This will not suffice as we seek to walk in peace, and in a manner that honors God in both blessing and buffeting.  Rather than blame our Lord in trials, or whine in self-pity, we rather do well to get our spiritual dander up, as it were.  "Somebody is attempting to thwart the peace in me for which the Lord Jesus suffered and died!  Someone is lying to me about God's character, nature, and His very present help in trouble!  I must not allow this to happen!  I must arise to fight the good fight of faith through Christ!  I must overcome by faith, as made possible by God's grace!  I must, because the glory of God is at stake, along with the peace of my heart and the peace of other's hearts that I will influence by my response, for good or ill!"   Truth musters the troops.  It calls us to engage in battle.  It promises the ability to fight, again, to fight the good fight of faith.  We may hurt as we do battle, we may feel perplexed, and we may wipe tears with one hand as we wield the sword with the other.  We will nevertheless fight as Truth calls us, and we respond.  For the trusting sons and daughters of God in Christ, this is enough for the present hour as we stand strong in the Lord rather than cower in response to devilish lies, distortions, and deceptions.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth."
(Ephesians 6:10-14)  

Weekly Memory Verse 
    Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Ephesians 6:23)

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