This is Part 6 of 7 parts answering the question, “Are there unseen forces and other reasons God allows suffering?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 7 will be posted tomorrow.
God Limits Satan on What He Can Do
As we read in Job chapters one and two, there is a very significant truth that we must not miss! Satan was limited as to how much harm he could cause Job. God prohibited Satan in the first strike from laying a “hand on his person.” Later, Satan was allowed to touch Job, but had to “spare his life.” God is sovereign, even in the suffering that Satan can cause. And in this suffering, God has a purpose and we must trust Him in those purposes, which are sometimes beyond our finite comprehension.
Satan can cause suffering on the righteous, but only that what God would allow. Satan’s purpose is to kill and destroy, but God’s purpose is to demonstrate His mercy, strength and constant faithfulness. God could prevent trials but chooses to allow them, as a consequence for sin, for a period of time – until the ages of human time are over and the final judgment is completed. Peter made the time and the purpose of suffering very clear,
10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet. 5:10-11 NKJ)
Through suffering, by the grace of God, His children are perfected (brought to maturity), established (built up), strengthened and settled. God does not waste even the devil’s wickedness to build His own children. In fact, God will use every opportunity to show the believing child the way of escape from worldly solutions to Divine remedies, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13 NKJ) God both limits the devil and provides a way of escape. The child of God needs to keep his eyes on Jesus, looking into His Word, being enlightened by His Spirit and in faith walking in that light. Instead of falling to the temptations of the devil to stray away from God, he will then walk in freedom in Jesus. However, many Christians in sin fall to fear before Satan.
Part 6 will be posted tomorrow.