By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Founder and Editor FaithInspires.Org
Recently while doing my usual research I came across the following quote by C. S. Lewis, ” Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ.” Afflictions can be physical, mental or emotional. When our world gets tough it can be easy to start to believe that God has forgotten us. We might even wonder if we are somehow being punished for something. Both thoughts are more likely the tricks of Satan, than truthful.
But as respected as he is C.S. Lewis is just a man, and his opinions are those of a man, although a learned one. What does scripture have to say to us on the subject of our afflictions ?
Consider what the Bible says at 2 Corinthians 12:7, “ I was given a thorn in my body because of the outstanding revelations that I’ve received so that I wouldn’t be conceited. It’s a messenger from Satan sent to torment me so I wouldn’t be conceited. I pleaded with the Lord three times for it to leave me alone. He said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness’ S o I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. Therefore I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.”
So scripture tells us plainly here that afflictions in our live are most often messages from the Devil (Satan.) they are meant to deceive us, and to distract us from God’s way. This passage also tells us that God’s grace is sufficient for any affliction that we may face. We also see that the proper role in our life or our struggles and afflictions is for us to allow God to make us stronger.
Afflictions don’t just attack our belief and faith in God. They are also meant ti distract us from God’s way, and his work. This is true even if our “work” for God is as simple as our example to those around us. Consider these words from noted Christian Author Joyce Meyers, ” The only way to repay the devil for hurt and devastation in our personal lives is to aggressively and vehemently do the works of Jesus.” In this short quote Meyers points out again that the source of our afflictions is the Devil. There’s an old saying “ Success is the best revenge. “ This is also what she is saying. The best way to combat the afflictions in our lives, is to succeed in our walk with Christ. Now I’m am not saying this will necessarily be easy. In fact the value in what I am saying lies in the fact that it will likely be hard and require significant effort !
So when afflictions and struggles wage against you, first of all pray ! The more it hurts the harder you should pray. Seek the support of other like minded Christians. Do something for Christ no matter how small it may seem. Fight back with Christ and God himself as allies.