We are now approximately half way through the first month of 2022.
In last week's column I encouraged you to make this year the most faith-filled time in your life. I cautioned you, however, that as much as God wants you to be filled with faith the devil wants to destroy your faith.
To accomplish this end, the devil will send storms into your life in order to weaken your relationship with God and thereby shake your faith. Two weapons the devil uses are temptation and resentment.
Let's look at what else the devil has in his arsenal to undermine your faith in God.
Do you ever see yourself as less than the next person?
Maybe you believe you are not as smart, deserving, or attractive as that other person in your life. At work, for example, you understand how your colleague got the promotion, but you never see yourself doing any more that what you are doing now.
Welcome to the devil's plan. It is called the storm of inferiority. It is when the devil does his best to convince you that, somehow, God didn't make you equal to or as good as the next person. He makes us to look at ourselves as if God made us second rate.
It is the devil's ploy to have us think, "God wouldn't grant me the answer to my prayer because I fall short." We inundate our lives with the word "can't."
Stop thinking that way! We serve a "Can Do" God. You are just as capable as anyone else. Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
This is probably one of the devil's most hated verses because it turns away his storm of inferiority. When you see yourself as a "Can Do Christian," your faith is magnified. As your faith is magnified, you become an even stronger "Can Do Christian."
Once you get to that point, the devil's plan is destroyed.
So, now you have beaten the devil at his game of temptation, resentment, and inferiority. Hold on. You're not out of the woods just yet. The devil has a couple more tricks up his sleeve. Just about the time you feel good about your degree of faith, the devil sends a storm of affliction your way.
It might come in the way of a health crisis. It may come in the way of a financial crisis. It may come in the way of a relationship crisis or any number of ways in which the devil can cause you pain and suffering.
Read the Book of Job and you will see what I am talking about. You most likely will experience some affliction in 2022. I would suggest you memorize Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and have been called according to his purpose."
Just as the devil tries to use affliction to weaken us, God can use affliction as a means to strengthen us. In other words, God can actually beat the devil at his own game.
Finally, the devil may send the storm of loneliness into our lives. I know that many of you lost dear loved ones in the past year. Your pain is very real, and all I can offer to you are my prayers and some words of encouragement.
My most important prayer for you is that you have given your life over to Jesus Christ.
At this particular time, you may feel alone or lonely. Let me assure you that, as a child of God, Jesus Christ will never leave you or forsake you. Lean on your church family for strength. You may have lost a loved one but know that the creator of the universe loves you abundantly, above and beyond your imagination.
Temptation, Resentments, Inferiority, Afflictions, Loneliness are all TRIALS the devil uses to weaken your faith. I declare that 2022 is your year of victory through faith in God!