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  • Writer's pictureVickie Sargent-Kler

Blaming Adversity on Satan

A Prayer to Open Our Study

“O Lord, thank You for the Holy Spirit that You have sent to help us in all things. May He guide us in everything that we do during bible study and as we fellowship together. Holy Spirit, guide us in the way that we should go, and open up scripture in a more profound way that we may see Jesus Christ in every verse that we read. Please continue guiding us in all that we do and teach us how to apply what we have learned to our lives.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Lesson Two Part Three: Blaming Adversity on Satan

We began lesson Two learning about blame. We blame others, and as Mr. Stanley reminded us, many of us blame our adversity on the devil. So much that it was very popular to say, “the devil made me do it.” He points out that Satan is the father of all lies and the instigator of all temptation, but he is not the father of all adversity.

What does it mean that Satan is the father of lies?

Speaking to a group of Jews, Jesus says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

Satan is the “father of lies” in that he is the original liar. He is the “father” of lies in the same way that Martin Luther is the “father” of the Reformation and Robert Goddard is the “father” of modern rocketry. Satan told the first lie in recorded history to Eve, in the Garden of Eden. After planting seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind with a question, and he directly contradicts God’s Word by telling her, “You will not certainly die” Genesis 3:4. With that lie, Satan led Eve to her death; Adam followed, and so have we all.

Satan has told more lies to more people (and even angels) than any other being ever created. His success depends on people believing his lies. He has used everything from “little white lies” to huge, pants-on-fire whoppers to deceive folks. Adolph Hitler, a man who learned how to lie effectively, once said, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

Lying is Satan’s primary weapon against God’s children. He uses the tactic of deceit to separate people from our heavenly Father. Some of his more common lies are:

“There is no God,” The number one lie that Christians are often confronted with is the argument that evil, pain, and suffering prove that there is no God. This is the big one that atheists (children of the father of lies) uses to try to persuade you to doubt. They say things like, “If there was a God why would He let X,Y,Z happen?” Giving an answer to the question of why God would allow such things can be challenging, but here are a few examples that can help us to feel reassured.

A. Jesus predicted trouble in our world, "In this world you will have trouble;" John 16:33 He sees this fallen world for what it is, and tells us the truth about it, with no candy coating.

B. Evil was not created or caused by God, “And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18 God is not the author of evil. But he did create us as real human beings with the ability to love and follow him … or not. Unfortunately, we chose the "not," and brought sin and evil into the picture.

C. The cause behind most suffering is human, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 The suffering in the world and the vast majority of human pain has been inflicted directly or indirectly by other humans.

D. We live in a fallen world, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” Romans 5:12 The Bible shows that pain that results from events and disasters that are not caused by humans are the result of the curse we live under due to human sin.

“God doesn’t care about you,” Our second lie is meant to make us feel lost and alone. They want the everyday trials and pains to test your faith, and make you consider that God doesn’t care about you. They say, “If God did care about your life, as a Christian your world would be all sunshine and roses. And if it’s not then where is God’s love?” Let’s face a few of our fears about whether God cares about us head on.

A. Your Unanswered Prayers, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives,” James 4:3 So, you’ve prayed every way you know. You’ve even begged God on your knees to solve your problems. Your overflowing prayer journals are a testament to your desperation. But what have you been praying for? We need to check our motives, and if they are selfish prayers, maybe it’s not God being silent it’s His way of saying No. In Good News Club we teach the kids that God always answers our prayers, we just don’t always like the way He chooses. There are three ways He answers us, Yes, No, and Wait. If you feel that God is not giving you an answer, and It is a worthwhile prayer, keep praying. If you feel that God has said no, then you need to move on, He has other plans for you. The answer may not always be no it may really be wait. But you must have confidence that God cares about what you care about.

B. You Feel Ordinary, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,” Ephesians 2:10 With great care and attention, God handmade you. Just like He made every wonderful thing you see around you. You’re part of His amazing creation. And because He carefully handmade you, you’re no ordinary woman. Even among 7 billion people. Only someone who cares about you thinks about you nonstop; and God thinks countless thoughts about you. Hear the truth He cares about you.

C. Your Problems Are Insignificant, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew10:29-31 Between global pandemics, famines, and man-made disasters, it sometimes feels like the world has gone crazy. Compared to the suffering on your TV every day, how can God possibly care about your insignificant problems? No matter how much you or anybody else in your life belittles your problems, they’re lying. Your problems matter to God. Because you matter to Him. Right now, it may feel like God’s been silent in your life for years. But in reality, you know He hasn’t. So deliberately recall specific times when He’s come through for you. The unexpected check in the mail, the job offer, and the small, everyday miracles. Remember them because He cares about you.

“The Bible cannot be trusted,” As a Christian, when we find ourselves in conversation with people who love to argue about the validity of the Bible, it can feel like we’re in over our head. They’ve had time to establish their position and reinforce their arguments, and we can feel like we’ve been caught off guard—and possibly make us doubt Scripture ourselves. Here are two common arguments against trusting the Bible and reasons why they’re mistaken.

A. We Can’t Trust the Gospels, Generally, people argue that the Gospels do not include eyewitness accounts. They’re not written as first-person narratives, and nothing suggests that they were composed by people who were personally present to witness the gospel events. This isn’t true. The whole New Testament started coming together while there were still plenty of people who could deny or corroborate the gospel story. It’s those people that Luke interviewed when he was assembling his Gospel. When Luke goes on to write the book of Acts to document the birth of the church, he often slips into the first-person point of view in his narrative. It’s obvious that Luke believes the eyewitness accounts he shares in his Gospel. Read Luke 1:1–4

In Peter’s second epistle, he not only affirms that he was an eyewitness of the gospel story, but he also highlights Jesus’ transfiguration as an example. Read 2 Peter 1:16–17

Furthermore, we read in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians that the disciples weren’t the only eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection. Hundreds of people saw the risen Christ. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-6

B. We Can’t Trust All the Biblical Inconsistencies, Critics of the Bible eventually bring up discrepancies in the Gospels. They might not have specific examples, but they’ll allude to a number of places in the Gospels where the different accounts of the same stories aren’t completely consistent. Maybe the sequence of events is out of order. Sometimes names and numbers are different from one book to another. “If this book is divinely inspired, they argue, it doesn’t make sense that there would be any inconsistencies.” This isn’t true. Christendom is full of intelligent, educated people who have invested time studying and researching these apparent inconsistencies and still put their trust in the Christian Scriptures. Most of these contradictions involve cases where two accounts highlight different facts, but this is a common occurrence. For instance, if a husband and wife walked to the hardware store and stopped along the way to talk to a friend who was watering her yard, they might recall the day differently. If someone asked what they did that day, the husband might say, “We went to the hardware store.” But the wife might tell you that they had a great talk with Helen down the street. It’s not that these two stories are irreconcilable; it’s that they both focus on particular events. Read Matthew 26:69–74 and Mark 14:66–71 and Luke 22:55–62 and John 18:15–18 so that you can compare the story when Peter Denies Jesus look for their inconsistencies and similarities for yourself.

“Your good works will get you into heaven.” Many people believe that they’re a very good person and that will bring them to heaven, but this is actually false. Good works have their place in the life of the Christian, but salvation is not one of them. James did say “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him” James 2:14 in which he was really saying “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” James 2:17 I read a statistic that said that almost 90% of people believe they’re a good person and believe they’ve done more good so they should go to heaven. If that were true, then why did Jesus have to die on the cross if you could be good enough to go to heaven on your own? We could live a million lives and do good works in each and every one of them and not be deemed good enough to go to heaven. Good enough is not good enough to God. We have to be perfect as the Bible says “nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false” Rev 21:27. It’s not about a plan of salvation, but about the Man of Salvation, and that is through Jesus Christ alone because there is absolutely no other way. If there were, God would have revealed it to us in the Bible but it’s not there! If our works could get us there, then Jesus died for nothing and He most certainly did not suffer and die for no reason. Read Acts 4:12 and Titus 3:5

Satan is a big fat liar, but so are we!

Mr. Stanley reminds us that Satan is the ultimate enemy of our souls, and spiritual torment comes from him. The apostle Paul tells us that Satan “masquerades as an angel of light” 2 Corinthians 11:14, so that what he says and does sounds good and seems reasonable. But it is nothing more than a false appearance.

7. He also asked us “What does it mean to be drawn away and enticed by own desires?”

Many of Satan’s lies tend to perpetuate themselves. When Eve convinced Adam to also believe the devil’s lie, they were drawn away from the fellowship with the Lord. Today, Satan still entices people to spread his lies for him. Often, he uses charismatic but foolish people to further his falsehoods.

Read James 1:13-14 and 1 Perter 5:8

8. He then asked us, “How is desire conceived, and how does it give birth to sin?”

Sin is born out of our desire, not God’s. God never tempts His people to sin. He gives us trials, yes. But He offers these trials as opportunities to perfect our faith and practice steadfastness, which will be rewarded. God presents us with difficulties and obstacles the same way a coach presents his team with new challenges and drills. He wants us to win! He rejoices over our faith when we overcome. The desire for sin is a curse, and we all live under it. When we cave into sin, we’re caving into ourselves. We must each refuse to put ourselves in situations in which our own desires awaken. For this is how sin is conceived. If we believe in Jesus as our savior we have been freed from the slavery to sin, but we have and never will lose the taste for it.

Read James 1:15 and James 1:2–3, 12 and Ephesians 4:22

In Part Four, we will talk about how we respond to adversity.

More to come…

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