Eternal Truth Ministry

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When everything goes wrong: Is the Devil against you, or God?

Pride is a funny sin. Not funny in a laughing sort of way, but funny in the way it acts. Or more accurately how we react to it.

As sinful humans still stuck in the flesh we always find a way to justify our sin. Sometimes it is obvious but we want to ignore it, and other times, especially with pride, it is extremely hard to acknowledge the sin.  You can be stuck in pride and not even realize it. What is worth, God hates pride, and if you are being prideful then God will resist you.

God resists the proud,But gives grace to the humble – James 4:6

There are times in our life when everything seems to be going wrong. Because of our pride and our arrogance we automatically assume that it is the Devil that brings these trials to us, so we seek God to overcome the trials.

But what we fail to recognize is that sometimes it is God bringing us the trials. God may allow or bring trials in your life for any reason at all, because He is sovereign and wants to prove a point (read the book of Job) or to rebuke.

Do not despise the chastening of the LORD,Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him. – Hebrews 12:5

If it is to rebuke us, then we had better repent and listen.  I am currently reading the book “The Light and the Glory” by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. The basics of the book is digging into history and personal journals of people who had a hand in founding this nation, from Christopher Columbus and his crew to George Washington and showing how God had a hand in the creation of this nation. (Look for our review of the book soon)

I noticed something interesting as I read about Christopher Columbus. He was a man of God, who served God and felt called to go on this mission to bring Christ to the Indies. Not everything went right, it took him 8 years of petitions and being rejected before he was finally approved for the mission. Getting there was not an easy trip and he ran into trouble, but continuously in his life he prayed and sought God.  By seeking God doors were opened that reassured Christopher that his journey was a call from God.

But something happened when Christopher Columbus first discovered the isles. Pride started to kick in, along with greed. These two forces worked to tear down what God was doing, not only in the life of Christopher Columbus but in the lives of all of the travelers who went to settle.

Gold became the new motivating factor, replacing the original mission of bringing the gospel to the new land. One of the ships was lost when it took off in search for gold (of the three that set for, and reach the Americas), and when they were about a week from home the largest storm that any sailor of the time had ever seen wrecked havoc on the ship.

Columbus’ response was to turn to God, but not to repent of his own greed or pride. No, the thing about Pride is that it, by definition, prevents us from seeing it; until it is too late. Instead they cast lots to make bargains to try and appease God. Promising to go on pilgrimages or promising to go to mass and praise God as soon as they reached shore. (sound familiar?)  They made it home, but broken, but that didn’t matter because Columbus was the new hero! Given the title “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” (at Christopher Columbus’ request) he showed the fruits of this new land. A few natives they brought back to translate, animals, fruits, and of course, the gold. So of course Admiral Columbus was sanctioned to return.

The settlement he returned to had been killed, attacked by the Indians after the settlers had raped and robbed and murdered many of the locals. Instead of this leading them all, especial Columbus, to repentance, this led to war, or more like genocide. After several more outbreaks a new governor was sent to take charge. But, being full of pride Christopher Columbus would not have his authority taken away, and ended up being arrested, sent back to Spain in chains, then after nearly a year was permitted to return to the new found land, but told never to return the colony he had already established.

Determined to make his own way Christopher Columbus fought to go where the gold was. Fighting such strong storms and winds that it took them 38 days to make a 3 day journey. 2 of the ships were torn apart by worms and Admiral Columbus was sick with the fever. He found his gold, and more bloodshed. He made it home, rich, but according to his journal, regretful for how he failed in his original mission, to bring the light to the lost.

Pride, turned a man who was on a mission by God into a man of greed, causing bloodshed instead of bringing salvation.  When opposed by every force imaginable, storms, winds or lack of winds, sickness, loss of food and water, it only brought them to cry to God for help, not to repent of their own sin. Why? Pride, they were sure they were on the right course, being hindered by Satan. They couldn’t imagine that it was God trying to get their attention, trying to get them to repent.

What should I do?

If you are struggling right now, and it seems that everything is going against you, do not just assume that this is Satan trying to stop you on your “God given” (or possibly selfish) mission.

First you need to seek God. Repent, ask God to show you anything in your life that is hindering you from serving God. If you are honest with God, he will show you your honest self, like it or not. God will show you what needs to go.

If you are not caught in pride or sinning, seeking God will still show you how God wants you to proceed, even if the problems in your life are caused by Satan.

So the bottom line, seek God, humble yourself, and repent.

Jon Zenor

Jon is the founder and leader of ETM, a ministry dedicated to sharing the gospel across the Internet. You can find more information about him on his personal website,

8 thoughts on “When everything goes wrong: Is the Devil against you, or God?

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  • i ho[e god will forgive me in all my wrong dooings becasuse i try to talk to him and im unpatient and when i ask to be helped i am still on my own it feels. i know God loves me and i love him also but i need help with grave temtations, anger, pain, knowing when to joke or not, cursing, lieing, my attitude, how to treat my family right and o=i guess just getting closer to God. im embarresed to go to confedssion and i want to make a personal confessoion but im not sure what to do, i usually explain my sins to God and i dont usually say prayers so i feel like im just using God when thats not the case at all. i love him and i just need a little of guideance from Jesus, God, and all the saints, because my life is horrible right now, i know my mom loves my but i cant seem to express the same love and compassion to her. she thinks i hate her when i dont!!! all iask is that i can be a quiet well composed person who loves everything especially learning and that God may take my family in heaven with him because they all deserve heaven and if i have not lead a life where i can be accepted into heaven ill be upset, but at lease i know my family is happy forever and i am content with that

  • I just wanted to say this post is the biggest load of garbage yet. What do you say to a person who is chaste and yet gets a urogenital infection or a person who doesn’t drink or smoke, eats the most healthy foods, exercises daily and is slim and fit and yet gets coronary artery disease with chronic symptoms atypical of the disease? On top of that, this person prays and never asks for anything for himself but only for the welfare of those he loves and yet sits back and watches his father die at 54 of heart disease, his step mother die of leukemia at 62, and his natural mother die of lung cancer? And to add the cherry on top he loses the love of his life to suicide despite all his prayers that god protect her and take away her bipolar disorder. If this life has taught me anything is that prayer amounts to squat. After all I have been through, to think otherwise would be the quintessential example of stupidity. But don’t misunderstand me, I am quite convinced this primal consciousness exists, it just doesn’t give a squat about anything but himself and makes supplicative prayer pointless for God will do what he will no matter how hard or how often you pray. And if my imperfection precludes answered prayers, then none of us should pray as we are all imperfect-all have fallen short…right? Theism is absurd!!! But there is a God and he hates my guts (either that or he loves the entertainment that comes by way of my suffering and in fact loves me and the laughs I provide).

    • I feel your pain and understand a lot of what you are feeling. But we should never let our lack of understanding cloud our judgement of God. Who do we think we are to tell God that He is wrong, cruel, or angry at us just because He does not do what WE — mere human mortals, fleas compared to God — want Him to do.

  • You are right. Pride even makes a parody of our repentance and our acts of repentance cloaked in pride worsens the situation.

  • Just plain fed up

    At some point u just gotta let go…my life has fallen apart…when God is against u, there is nothing u can do. Why He is out for my downfall is beyond me. Praying, crying, holding Him to His Word did me no good. It just got worse….

    Am done…

    • I think you may have missed the point of the post. The only reason that God would be against you is if you are living in disobedience to Him.

      If you are following Him then trust that God will work things out for you, even if it isn’t the way you want it to. God isn’t a genie that will make your life better if you do all of the right things.

      I hope things are going better.

  • Chingching

    Romans 8:28 clearly allows us to rejoice in ALL THINGS working for GOOD. John 14 shares comfort that Jesus goes and prepares a place for us. Those words encourage us that preparation is necessary to be effective and communicate the Gospel. No Doctor could perform his daily tasks in the medical field without preparation and mistakes. Some will die at his hands, and in those extreme cases of personal mistakes, the doctor learns that pride is his worst enemy. Assuming to be so correct, allows those in our paths to fall, be broken by our words, deeds, and actions like an arrogant doctor in quick prescriptions without proper tests, examination, and double checking his assessments.
    Pride bought Satan to earth, to be the temporary ruler, the father of lies, even deceived himself. Should that not be enough of a warning to me, especially a follower of Christ.
    When we are corrected, directed, and instructed by circumstances that like a flood wish to drown us, we must look to God, ask what is the direction of His Divine Will and repent. In repentance we ask God to renew a correct spirit within us, and change our heart to HIS loving thankfulness, that we are in Christ and Christ is in us.
    Finally remember, “no pain, no gain”. Playing the piano is a daily exercise, on week without practice, makes music weak and with errors. The military soldier has to be prepared, so boot camp is preparation. God is preparing a Heavenly place for us, and will come back for us once again, should we not allow God to prepare us. God Bless


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