When something good is about to happen, like a ministry is getting started or people are getting the deliverance they need, I often hear someone say, “Watch out. Satan loves to attack at times like this. He doesn’t want God’s plan to succeed.” God’s word does say that Satan goes around like a roaring lion with the sole purpose to “steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)
I also know that God gives Satan power in this world. The only power Satan has is what God gives him (Job 1-2). So why would God give Satan power to thwart His own plan?
Maybe Satan is given more power as part of God’s plan. James 1:2-4 tells us that when our faith is tested through trials, it is to teach us endurance so that we will not be lacking in anything. And if God is about to move in a particular arena, He needs people who are equipped for the work.
Trials produce qualified people for God’s work. It turns weak into strong and brings us into a deeper faith and deeper relationship with God.
I don’t have scripture to back this up, but maybe Satan knows through experience that all of the people who go through the trials will not stand on the other side. That’s why he’s a willing participant. He knows he can’t win them all, but he will win some.
I know believers who have been through some very difficult times lately. I’ve had my share. God needs strong followers to do the work He has set before us. In the movie, “Return to Me”, Marty tells Grace, “It’s the character that’s the strongest that God gives the most challenges to. Now you can take that as a compliment.” I don’t think I follow that philosophy. I think He gives great trials to us all to make the week strong, knowing some will turn away from Him and some will choose to walk through the fire to be stronger and purer than before.
The question I have to ask myself is, “Will I whine and continually ask God ‘Why?”, letting Satan have some measure of success, or will I walk through any trial in faith and come out on the other side “completely mature and not lacking in anything?” (James 1:4)