We’ve been looking at Peter’s counsel to us with regard to how we are to respond to the reality of Satan’s schemes and his persistent assault against Christian men and women. Continue reading . . .
We’ve been looking at Peter’s counsel to us with regard to how we are to respond to the reality of Satan’s schemes and his persistent assault against Christian men and women. He writes:
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary 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. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:8-11).
This brings us face to face with a real spiritual and theological problem. On several occasions in 1 Peter we are told that it is God who orchestrates our suffering as a way of refining and purifying our faith. See, for example, 1 Peter 1:6-7; 2:21; 3:14,17; 4:12-19 (esp. v. 19!).
So who is responsible for the suffering Christians endure: Satan or God? Yes! The answer is: Both!
Although Satan and God work at cross purposes, they can both desire the same event to occur while hoping to accomplish through it antithetical results. Satan wanted to see Jesus crucified, as did God the Father (Isa. 53:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28), but for a different reason. The same is true in the case of Job. What Satan had hoped would destroy Job (or at least provoke him to blasphemy), God used to strengthen him.
Or consider Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7-10). Although we can't be sure, it seems likely that the demon