". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


The Devil May Try to Take You away from God, but Jesus Said, ‘No One Will Snatch Them out of My Hand’

March 9, 2024

Life can be so tiring. And there are so many reasons why.

As believers, we know being a Christian doesn’t equal an easy life. Rather, Jesus promised quite the opposite. He said the world would hate us for our loyalty to Christ, because the world hated Him first.

Persecuted Christians in Nigeria, China, and all around the globe know this well. Those Christians are forced to hide their faith for fear of imprisonment, torture, or execution. The expansion of LGBT ideology has increasingly labeled Christians as bigots, transphobes, homophobes, hateful, extremists, or whatever derogatory term you can think of. And simply as human beings, we’re vulnerable to weariness from the stresses of life. In addition to going against the “norms” of this fallen world, we face illness, uncertainty, confusion, pain, sorrow, and temptations that seem to pull us in every direction we don’t want to go.

But as believers, we know we have Christ and that He gives us hope in all things, right? So why is it so hard to believe that sometimes? Why do we still find ourselves feeling all alone? We know we shouldn’t, but why is giving up such a strong temptation at times?

Well, like many things concerning biblical truth, there are multiple aspects one could consider. I’m not here to say I have all the answers. If only I did. But one thing I know that pertains to this discussion is the fact that the enemy loves to capitalize on our weaknesses. And the second you became a Christian, you also became an enormous threat to this prowling enemy. Perhaps even before spiritual rebirth, the devil was already taunting you.

A few months ago, I read “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. Unsure of what to expect going into it, I found myself intrigued by its delivery. If you haven’t heard of this book, it’s essentially written from the perspective of a demon uncle, Screwtape, who writes letters to his demon nephew, Wormwood, coaching him on how to better tempt and thwart his human “patient” away from God. While it’s a work of fiction, it effectively conveys spiritual truth concerning the battles we face as Christians.

Most prominently, the book emphasizes two key aspects: 1) Satan is a liar, and 2) he works around the clock in attempt to make us miserable. But to elaborate on those themes, from relationships to going to church, “The Screwtape Letters” presents several ways the enemy tries to tempt us. If only I had the space to outline them all.

Put simply, Screwtape abuses numerous aspects of life by instructing his nephew to make the human forget about God, or, at the very least, believe he has been abandoned. In fact, Screwtape writes to Wormwood and says, in effect, that the Christian who does not feel God’s presence but still chooses to obey Him is their greatest threat.

You see, the enemy is the great deceiver. He lies, cheats, steals, kills, and destroys. And since he is not sovereign or omnipresent, he has his demon minions to help him with his evil deeds. But what Screwtape said is noteworthy, because it’s so true. Satan wants us to think God isn’t there, and he’ll do anything to make us miserable. But just read Scripture, and you’ll know that He will “never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). When believers feel abandoned, yet keep their focus on obeying God, the enemy’s efforts become futile.

And not only does it curb the enemy’s attacks, but it also serves us in our walk with the Lord by allowing us to practice patience, trust, discipline, and endurance. When we choose to obey, no matter our battles, we are proclaiming that God is greater. This is why Scripture continuously calls us to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). But none of this will occur without keeping our gaze fixed on Christ, as Scripture also calls us to do. And it’s no wonder why it does, is it?

The second we turn our eyes off Him, we’re almost immediately overwhelmed by the woes of life, the snares of the enemy, and the pressure of worldliness. When we turn our eyes away from the Author of life, love, hope, and joy, no wonder we feel crushed by the weight of loneliness, despair, pain, and hopelessness. And when we turn our eyes off Truth Himself, it’s no wonder we gravely forget that Satan only tells lies.  

Pastor Burk Parsons once wrote, “The forces of evil have set their sights on all true believers, and they are unrelenting.” And so, yes, we must acknowledge that the devil is always trying to thwart us. However, far more importantly, we must never forget that, for those of us in Christ, the devil will always fail. When Satan thinks he’s winning, that’s when Jesus, sitting at the right hand of the Father, says He already won.

Or as Jesus said in John 10:27-30, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

My encouragement to all believers is to never stop fixing your eyes on your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In doing so, your pain may not immediately cease, but He will always be by your side. He is sanctifying you amid your troubles, and actively drawing you closer to His glory. And in light of sanctification, which also means to be set apart for God’s special purposes, Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4 that “we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

So, when you do face affliction, recall the promises of God. He said there is no amount of water that can drown you and no flame that shall burn or consume you (Isaiah 43:2). And Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Beloved, I plead you to keep fighting because we will be strengthened by our faithful God.

But do you remember when I said the enemy likes to capitalize on our weaknesses? Well, I know we often feel weak and exhausted as we run this race of faith, and it’s often hard to wait to feel stronger. And so, I pray you find comfort in the words of 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10:

“A thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.