FAITH: Is Satan trying to make your life miserable?
I have been going thru some issues the last several weeks/month. Before it all came to a head, I sought Godly council from two women that are Christians and had experience in this area. I laid out the facts, I didn’t whine. I wanted to insure I was going down the right path, so I sought council, not sympathy.
I did speak to a third friend about it and with her I did whine, but in that circumstance, I was looking for someone to share my burden, not necessarily council. Well, even though I chose all the right paths, and did the right things; it still did not turn out well for me. When we have conflict thrown at us, we must deal with it. You don’t get warm and fuzzy feelings even if you make the right decisions thru conflict.
Take Joseph for example. His brothers hated him just because he was his Fathers favorite. That was not Josephs fault. The Bible doesn’t tell us about Josephs personality, so we can assume a lot, but it might not be factually information.
Why is it when we hear something bad happening to someone, we always weigh in on their personality?
I always hear people talk about Joseph saying he was probably a spoiled brat and antagonized his brothers. Well, maybe, or maybe not. That doesn’t give people the right to deliberately mistreat you, like throw you into a Cistern.
Some people may be blunter than others, some may be loud and boisterous, and some might be a constant talker, but this does not make them sinful. It’s the actions behind those personalities. What’s coming out of their heart.
Josephs brothers had jealousy coming out of their hearts. You can judge people by their fruit. And when I say judge them, really look at what they have done for others, not just what you want to see.
Matthew 7:16 states “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”
When you look at someone, ask yourself “Are these people putting God first?” “Do they pray?” “Do they read their Bible?” “Do they attend church?” “Do they pay their tithes?”
All these things say they have a relationship with God. Maybe, their values, or their way of looking at things are askew.
Have they allowed Satan to control them with jealousy like Josephs brothers? Josephs brothers committed the act of jealousy, yet God still forgave them.
God put 12 gates up in heaven, and each one is labeled with the 12 names of the Patriarchs.
So, if they can sell their brother into slavery and still be considered the 12 Patriarchs, I’m certain God can forgive the people that wrong you and me. We should not look at people who cause conflict in our lives as the enemy. Joseph knew his brothers did wrong against him.
Genesis 50:20 states “…But Joseph replied, “Do not be afraid. Am I in the place of God? As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good in order to accomplish a day like this – to preserve the lives of many people.”
Joseph was able to look back at the original plan God set in his path with the dream He gave Joseph in the beginning, while still with his brothers. I’m sure Joseph yelled for help while in the Cistern, and probably struggled while the slave keepers were taking him away. He probably cried out his brother’s names.
But in the end, he saw God’s plan and during the conflict that he did not cause, he made the best of the situation, thus becoming Pharaohs right hand man.
Always ask yourself, “Is Satan trying to make my life miserable?” and then you’ll know how to proceed forward.
Karen Y. Stevens is Executive Director at Meals on Wheels