We have looked at the suffering that Christians face when they fight the attacks of the devil. Please note that it is the suffering from fighting back the devil’s attack that God will use to develop the four virtues stated in 1Pet 5 in you.
This is the suffering that arises anytime you do something righteous and the devil shows up. Christians at every level of life will face this kind of suffering As a pastor, I also face a version of that suffering when I discipline someone who has acted contrary to righteousness for a period. The suffering may be emotional or social and the temptation in the flesh could be, “why don’t we change our stand so that people will not talk?”
In all my years of serving the Lord, I’ve taken a stand that I wouldn’t waver from what the Word of God says but some ministers of the gospel would say that, “Reverend Areogun is too tough.” But I said to myself if that is my offence then I will stay with the Word of God because there is no crime in that. There could however be some emotional suffering that may make a minister to consider toning down the weight of his message to accommodate such disobedient people and what I have noticed is that when such happens, those people hurt the work of God more.
The devil will bring pressure for you to crack and change your stand of faith but if you refuse, God’s power will come through for you. It is not only in sickness that the devil launches attack, sometimes he can attack a prophet who brings a prophecy and the people of God refuse to believe it, but when it happens, it will be too late. Between the time the prophecy is declared and the fulfillment, the prophet will face emotional pressure and have to decide whether to side with God or with men’s approval.
It also happens among children in a family, when something is wrong in the house and the father says “which of you did it?” and the children keep quiet while one of them speaks up to tell the truth. He will face the suffering of others refusing to speak with him for a few days and during that period, he will need to decide whether he would capitulate and try to explain himself to his siblings. If he stands his ground, he would have grown and become stronger in his spirit.
This is the only trouble that can work for you, not the suffering of the devil, but the suffering that comes from fighting back and staying the course of faith. Will you qualify for what God has for you by staying true to your convictions or will you give in to the pressure around you?