When you get beaten down repeatedly it can be hard to recover that spring in your step again, that once vibrant personality and positive outlook. Things can seem grim, like we're just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. The beaten down person finds it difficult to be optimistic and positive about the future.
As much as you strive to reject a defeatist and victim mindset, strength can be sapped, and one cannot deny the reality of accumulated wounds.
When confidence and strength is sapped every blow is like hitting a defenseless target. The strong person rebounds, has thick skin, and seems to reflect blows. He is immune to abuse like water washing off a duck's back.
Sometimes it is obvious that you are involved in a spiritual attack, because it is like a crescendo of bad things unfolding all at once, or one after the other like a barrage of waves.
Unfortunately God allows bad things to happen to us and our families. Don't ever think that the enemy is impotent. He can seriously assault your emotions, sense of security and stability. He can attack your family members, put them in hospital, turn your extended family against you.
Then sabotage your standing in the workplace, attacking your reputation with colleagues and bosses, through slander, gossip and sanctions etc., simultaneously afflicting you with sickness that drags on for months.
The enemy can be relentless if you pose a strategic threat to his plans and kingdom. It isn't a game. Only after deciding to form a prayer group have I been under 3 months of relentless assault in all areas of my life.
Bad into good
God however is greater than the enemy, and He can absolutely turn negative events into a blessing, and moreover develop your endurance and faith along the way.
Don’t be surprised when you seek some encouragement from your church family, only to leave feeling discouraged by veiled criticism... Like the lousy "comforters" in the book of Job.
You can be traumatized and wounded. We can't be invulnerable to pain when our family suffers or we are betrayed by people. Even Christ sobbed at the prospect of encountering the death of his friend.
We can however disarm the enemy through Faith, Praise and Prayer, equipping the armor of God. We can mitigate the damage, we can ground our minds, prepare our hearts, fortify ourselves for the battle and remain committed. We can hold on to hope in the fiery trials.
But do not be surprised when all kinds of fiery trials beset you. These things test your faith and commitment to God. None of these trials are worth comparing to the glory that awaits us. Christ suffered all kinds of afflictions, yet overcame them all. He was the suffering servant.
And as our master suffered, so must we. We should accept this. We need to accept this as a part of life, and not be frustrated, expecting a life of ease and enjoyment all the time.
In order to salvage the pleasures God gives us, we must first accept that trials are inevitable and guaranteed. Maximise the good times by accepting the bad times, which we can't control.
Refuse to dwell on the bad, allowing it to suffocate potential future enjoyment--taking over our lives like a fog of despair. Accept trials and move on, be committed, take up the cross, focus on the crown. Cringeworthy as the saying is: Soldier on.
Remember Christ overcame the world and His spirit lives within us.
Amos is an evangelical conservative, seeking to understand the world from the perspective of the Christian worldview, watching to ascertain the times and season; desiring to speak the truth to a lost generation. He is married and a dad.
Amos Sale previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/amos-sale.