Do you ever have days where it feels like there’s a target on your back, and Satan is aiming his arrows right at you? Those days are always challenging. No matter what we do nothing works, and we keep getting knocked down.
I have a list of things to do, that involve the internet and of course for some reason the internet is not working. Isn’t that just like the devil? He tries to throw a wrench into things. But, he is no match for God!
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil” Eph. 6:11 NLT
What happens when the arrows come flying at us, and one, or more hit us? Right in the center. If you are like me you may throw a fit for a moment, perhaps even phone a friend, or two, to complain! All of this before taking a step back, and reassessing the situation by comparing it to the power of God.
When the arrow(s) hits it pierces us to the core. It may even knock us down by its force.
“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.” 2 Ti. 3:1 NLT
I love that verse where the Apostle Paul is instructing Timothy, a young pastor under Paul’s mentorship, to be aware of “difficult times.” In my Holman Christian Study Bible is says, ‘The words last days are more than a prediction. They are also an assessment of what was happening in Paul’s time.” (p. 2097) In Paul’s time. The books of Timothy were written around 64-67 AD, and yet years later we still have difficult times.
Our difficult times may be different. The arrows that come after us may affect different areas of our lives. Yours may be:
- Health issues – you just received a bad report from your doctor.
- Financial issues – the money has run out and you have no idea how you will pay your bills.
- Employment issues – you were just laid off, or have been laid off for a while and no one is hiring you.
- Housing issues – you were just evicted, and don’t know where you will sleep tonight.
- Transportation issues – you don’t know how you will get around.
- Food issues – you don’t know where your next meal will come from.
- Relationship issues – your spouse just left you. Now you find yourself all alone.
Whatever your arrow is, it has pierced you and left you wounded. The faith you once had has a wound that is wide open and hemorrhaging. In the background the devil is screaming “bullseye!” All along we struggle to bandage it. Because we are hit panic sets in and causes us to seek a solution in our own strength.
I know because when the arrow of unemployment hit, I sought out all my friends and put the word out. Deep down I knew God would not fulfill my next employment through them. Why? Not that He couldn’t, but because He deserves all the glory, and most likely in my testimony God would share the glory with my friend. Do you see the difference?
Many of us may know of someone that has suffered one or more of the above issues. Either they are still in that particular season, or they have come out of it and are doing well, or God chose to bring them out in a different way. But it’s different when its someone else, and not you personally, isn’t it?
“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” 2 Cor. 1:8 NLT
Instead events were orchestrated for me to pray, recite scripture, and seek out God to fix it. Yet, with each day the point of the arrow digs in just a little deeper. Not to make me suffer, but so that when the break through comes no one, not one person, will get the glory! But, man, some days – it’s tough! Can you relate? Are you there?
When the arrows hit us personally, oh how our perspective changes! All the words of encouragement we spoke to another don’t count, or don’t work. This I know. And I can see you shaking your head. We say, “it’s different.” Yes. It is. It now has affected us – directly and personally.
But friends, let us take heart, and embrace the words of the Apostle Paul. The words he spoke during his hardship. He was beaten, homeless, imprisoned, and shunned by his own people.
“Indeed, we personally had a death sentence within ourselves, so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God, who raises the dead.” 2 Cor. 1:9 HCSB
I want to stop there because these words jumped out at me “we personally had a death sentence within ourselves.” What is one of the first things we think when trouble hits? “I’m going to die!!” Now please understand if you have received a bad report from your doctor I am not minimizing that. It is important for you to seek medical attention, and listen to your doctors. Add to that cling to Paul’s last five words “God, who raises the dead.” God works miracles daily and his power never weakens!
As the arrow hits, takes us down, and the devil yells “bullseye!” Let us stop the hemorrhaging with the pages of scripture, and yell back –
“He has delivered us (insert your name) from such a terrible death (insert your situation), and He will deliver us. We have put our hope in Him that He will deliver us – again!”
In this time of uncertainty, embrace His grace and His strength. Because when imperfect and perfect collide – Grace happens.
“Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.” Eph. 3:8 NLT
How will you handle the arrows?
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by – examiner, stylepinner