Have you had a season in your life when you felt as though you were undergoing a full-out satanic assault? Life is one mass of confusion, uncertainty, and full of fear. Although you may normally be an "up" person, one who tends to be hopeful, this time of life can be characterized by leaving you feeling depressed and hopeless. Many times you may wonder if God hears you or has forgotten you altogether. And if He has heard you, why, oh why, does He not come to your rescue?
Psalm 88 is a true picture of someone who is severely depressed and under attack from the enemy. There is no resolution in the psalm. That very fact brings me tremendous comfort that I am not the first person to feel this way. God knows and understands the confusion and gives permission for me to voice it.
We are in our sixth month of dealing with job loss for my husband. If someone had told me that it would have lasted this long in the beginning of the ordeal, I would have fainted on the spot. I could not have imagined anything, other than a severe illness or death of a loved one, being more frightening than that. The Lord has provided for us in ways I would have never dreamed or imagined, but my heart longs for stability again.
My husband will fly to California tomorrow to say goodbye to his brother who is being moved to hospice care soon. I have watched him deal with numbing sadness as the waves of grief have battered him. His brother's illness came on very suddenly. Rob has a sense of urgency to get there while his brother is still lucid. Death is cruel and ruthless.
Today is Saturday after the horror of Good Friday - the day that the stone on the tomb was still firmly in place. Two thousand years ago, the closest friends on earth to Jesus Christ were shocked and numb at the events that had happened just 24 hours before. The betrayal of one of their own had set off a chain of events that had devastated and shattered their expectations of what life with the Son of God would look like. Only two of the inner circle of Christ's friends, Peter and John, had the courage to stay and watch what would become of the One they knew as Messiah. The most horrific and unexpected scenario, one they had never imagined, played out as their beloved Friend was nailed to and died on a criminal's cross. Wasn't Jesus supposed to rule and reign as King? How could someone who was dead rule? Impossible. The despair that must have overwhelmed them is beyond my human comprehension. The crisis of faith that must have confronted them must have threatened to take their sanity.
We live in a Saturday world where the ravages of sin and the despair of the human condition seem to be the only true realities. We have no vision of what is to come because we do not comprehend what God is doing in, through, and for us. The promises of God seem to mock us as Satan screams mercilessly in our ear that we are fools for believing in a God that could let us go through what we are going through. Saturday is when Satan foolishly thought he had won. He had forgotten that Saturday would become Sunday.
Sunday, that glorious resurrection Sunday, is coming! And Satan knows it. He knows, better than I do, that God cannot be unfaithful to His promises to us, no matter what my Saturday world looks like. To those of us who have made Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, setbacks are set-ups for God's glorious resurrection in our lives.
Satan is a defeated foe. Christ's death and resurrection have made a public spectacle of Satan and the demons. I must believe that and rely on the character of my faithful God when I am faced with an all-out satanic assault to try to make me doubt in my heavenly Father's care and everlasting love for me.
Sunday is coming!
That truth gives me courage to live in a Saturday world.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV)
We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 2 Cor. 10:3-5 (NLT)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:10-18 (ESV)