Thursday, July 29, 1999

Satan: A Powerful Adversary

"Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." (Job 1:9-11)

Many people envision Satan as a man with a red tail and a pitchfork. But the bible presents him differently. Satan was at one time the most beautiful angel in all of heaven, but his pride led to his demise. He is an evil, cunning, and powerful adversary. In Ephesians 6:12, the apostle Paul states: "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

The chief enemy Paul was referring to was of course Satan. On our own, we are powerless against him. But if we "put on the full armor of God", as Paul writes, Satan is powerless against us. Although Satan was already defeated, he still lives to war against us. Paul's advice? "Be alert and always keep on praying." I couldn't agree more.

Saturday, July 17, 1999

Overcoming Depression

If you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. (Job 11:13-16)

I've had my share of pain and depression in my life, granted not to the extent of Job, but I certainly have had my faith put to the test. A few years back, when I had lost all desire to live, I clinged to these words, and prayed that God would restore me. It took much patience, but He began to resolve the issues that were weighing me down one by one.

I guess it took coming to that lowest point for me to fully see the power of God. I look back at those low points of my life, not with resentment or regret, but rather with a sense of awe of just how much God has delivered me from. I have no misconception that the rest of my life will be an easy road, but I take joy in knowing that I have the hand of God to guide me home.

Wednesday, July 7, 1999

Finding True Happiness

Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him. (Philippians 3:7-8)

I think the key to finding true happiness in this world is found in the verse above. Most of my life, I fruitlessly sought happiness in being successful; whether it be in sports, school, or career. Unfortunately, nothing I did was ever good enough for me. I couldn't hit enough base hits, get enough A's, or make enough money. It took finding a close relationship with Christ for me to finally let these things go.

In Christ, all those things became less important, and I began to live a happier life. I find it much more fulfilling to share the joy of Christ than to be wrapped up in the pleasures of this world. Hopefully, that desire will never change - no matter what personal sacrifices that might mean along the way.