We live in confusing times. Some days, the things going on all over the world seem more distant and less apparent. We are able to go about our daily lives with the illusion that world peace is possible. People out there are dying in the name of Jesus, but we’re still okay. Destruction and chaos hasn’t reached us yet. Then Sabah gets hit by an earthquake and the whole nation is shaken up.
Talk of the end times becomes more hyped up than ever. Some people fear God’s wrath, while others dispute that God will not inflict His judgment in this manner. The sleeping church in Malaysia is getting jolted to wake up. The call to repentance in our country is louder than ever before, which is a good thing. But with this comes the danger of mass panic and hysteria.
Are we living in the end times? That is very likely, yes. But are these natural disasters and other forms of unrest warnings from God or attacks from the devil? We don’t know. Who are we to determine? Some people claim that God will protect our land from the devastations of the evil one, while others are convinced that God is the one who is causing these things to get our attention.
Regardless of the cause, there is no need for us to panic because we can rest assured of thing: We can trust God. In fact, we must trust God—now more than ever before. Because we know that if He is behind these catastrophes, He has our best interests at heart and has very good reasons for them. And if He is not behind these catastrophes, then we’re seriously going to be needing His help with facing the enemy whom we know does not have our best interests at heart.
But how can we be confident about putting our trust in God? Whenever I have doubts about God’s actions, I like to go back to the book of Job. In Job 38, God says to Job, “Who is this that obscures My plans with words without knowledge? (v2) Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? (v4)” He even threw in a little bit of sarcasm when He said, “Surely you know! (v5).
In other words, “You think you’re so clever, right? You tell me la!” God spends the next 35 verses reminding Job that, as brilliant as he may be in human terms, God supersedes all human understanding in ways that our brains cannot even begin to comprehend. God disarms Job’s question of His sovereignty to the point that Job has no other option but to acknowledge that he can trust the creator of the universe to make good decisions.
So we know that we can trust God to whatever He deems best. He may or may not be passing judgment on our land. Our part is to continually serve Him faithfully and, if we have been slacking, now may be a good time to buck up! How then should we react if our nation is under attack from evil forces? The Bible has the answers to this as well:
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For 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. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
In competitive sports, it is always helpful to know your opponents. Knowing their strengths equips you to take extra precaution in guarding your defenses, and knowing their weaknesses aids in your strategy so that you can overpower them and win the match.
Similarly, our battle against the spiritual forces of this world is all about preparation and defense. We know Satan’s weakness: God. Satan is most unhappy when we are close to God because he knows that when we are firm in God, he is already defeated. That is why he is persistently attacking God’s people and trying to pull them as far away from Him as possible.
We also know Satan’s strength: Deception. He is the master of lies and we have been buying into his lies for thousands of years. This is why it is so important for us to ground ourselves deep in God’s truth. In fact, all of God’s armor shields against Satan’s known tactics. When we put on the full armor of God, we are completely protected against the evil of this world.
However, just as we know the devil’s strengths and weaknesses, he is also well acquainted with ours. He knows that he can never defeat our strength, which is God, but he also knows that when we are not fully clothed in God’s armor, we expose our weaknesses, and he will take every opportunity he gets to target those weaknesses.
A chain can only be broken if there is a weak link in it. As the body of Christ, we are very much a chain that is linked together. As long as we continually put on God’s belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, and helmet of salvation, and as we continue to bring the Gospel of peace to our community and use the Word of God as a sword to ward off all lies and confusion the devil may attempt to send our way, that chain will remain strongly linked.
So in times of difficulty, chaos, suffering, and fear, let us put on God’s full armor. At the beginning of each day, as we prepare to go through our regular routine, let us also prepare to face the spiritual battles that may come our way. They may come with lightning and thunder, but they may also come in the subtlest of ways. So remain faithful in prayer, stand on guard, and be aware. If/when the day comes that we are faced with adversity, may we—God’s people, be a chain that does not break under the pressures of evil, but one that remains securely linked together in Christ!
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