The Strategy Of Discouragement

The Strategy Of Discouragement

Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.
–Job 13:15

If you are a Christian, Satan’s first strategy to destroy your family, your faith, and your future is to discourage you from worshiping God. You and I are bit players in an eternal drama that began many years ago when Satan, who was God’s chief of staff, chose to rebel against the Creator. Watching this drama play out is an unseen audience of angels and demons. And in Job, we get a glimpse behind the scenes of this drama. Job 1:1 says, “There was man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Then God directed Satan’s attention to this main character on the stage named Job. Verse 8 says, “The Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.’” Satan was not about to let God be proud of His creation, so Satan said, in essence, “Of course he worships You. Look at all the things You have done for him! But you let me have a few rounds with him and I can turn him against you.” So God granted Satan limited permission to attack Job, and for the next two chapters we see Satan’s relentless attacks against him.

One day Job was sitting on the ash heap of his incinerated possessions, his dead children, his broken health, and Job’s wife came to him and said, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” (2:9). That was Satan’s objective: to send so many tragedies into Job’s life that he would conclude worshiping God is not worthwhile. But after Satan had hit Job as hard as he could, destroying his possessions, killing his children, taking away his health, Job cried out, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him” (13:15). I believe at that moment the heavenly audience gasped in amazement that God could command that kind of allegiance.

Job played his part well here on earth. But now Job has exited the stage, and it is your time and my time. The question remains: “Is God really worthy of our worship?” Job’s story tells us Satan has limited control over this world. He is able to use natural disasters, financial reversals, health problems, and relationship disruptions to turn you away from God and to discredit the reputation of God before the entire universe. However, Satan’s power is limited. He is still under God’s control, but God has allowed Satan to have limited access to our lives. Why? Because untested faith is really no faith at all. For Job’s faith to be sure, it had to go through the crucible of trials, and it is the same way in your life. God uses trials to strengthen us, but also to prove that we are really His followers. Right now Satan may be bombarding you with relentless attacks. Perhaps he is attacking your sense of well-being. Perhaps he is attacking your family. Perhaps he is attacking your livelihood. He is doing everything he can to discourage you from worshiping God. But God is saying to you, as He said to Job, “Trust Me. I have a plan that I am working out in your life right now, even though you cannot see what that plan is.”

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Blueprint For Your Destruction” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.