I have been struggling with a printer that just won’t cooperate. It has been, and is continuing to be so frustrating. And no, I’m not going to tell you how I just laid hands on it and it started printing. I think the one thing that has wasted my time the most has been printers that won’t work properly. I’m sure it isn’t even almost as bad as the thorn that Paul had in his flesh, but I think you’ll agree that struggling with something that just won’t change, improve or go away is not exactly a pleasant experience. How are we supposed to handle things like these?

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (TPT) The extraordinary level of the revelations I’ve received is no reason for anyone to exalt me. For this is why a thorn in my flesh was given to me, the Adversary’s messenger sent to harass me, keeping me from becoming arrogant. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

Nobody knows what the thing was that troubled Paul, and it really doesn’t matter one way or the other. After he asked God three times to remove it, and it wasn’t removed, he decided to make peace with it. Making peace with it didn’t mean that he embraced it as his own. He called it a messenger that Satan sent to harass him. That’s how bad it was but he decided that if it would stay with him he would have to use it for his good and not allow it to pull him down or to be in rebellion about it all the time. Paul said that God told him that His grace was enough for him and that when Paul was weak, God could manifest His power through him all the better. Paul also said that it would keep him humble.

Say, for instance, that you have arthritis, but you don’t let the pain overwhelm you and you continue playing a sport weekly. When someone asks you about it you tell them that it is by the grace of God that you are able to do it. You don’t complain and when you feel like giving up you remember what Paul said and you go on with a smile. You are going to become an example of God being strong because you are weak. There are lots of things we can’t do in our own strength. Like if you work for a temperamental boss, and you ask God to help you stay calm and keep delivering high quality work. Your colleagues are going to notice that there is a quality in you that most people don’t have. That will be an opportunity to share the Gospel with them.

Genesis  50:20, But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

This is what Joseph said to his brothers who had sold him into slavery. God can use any situation to bring about His plan. Sometimes it feels like you are being buffeted from every side, but if you just hand the situation over to God and allow His strength to fill your weakness, then He is going to be able to make His plan work.

Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Here we can see that God can take any situation and turn around its original, or perceived purpose and use it to our advantage.

Luke 22:31-32, And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Jesus tells Simon Peter that the devil wants to test him and that He will pray for him to stay strong. What is very interesting is that He said that when it was over that Simon should pray for his brethren. That means that Satan is going to test all believers and we should pray for each other to be able to withstand it.

Let us say with David:

Psalm 31:19-20, Oh, how great is Your goodness,

Which You have laid up for those who fear You,

Which You have prepared for those who trust in You

In the presence of the sons of men!

You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence

From the plots of man;

You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion

From the strife of tongues.



An easy life

Don’t we all feel that, every now and again, God could just give us a little break, make life a bit easier for us? We are, after all, His children, His heirs, the ones He chose. I know that I have often emphasized how hard times and trials are actually good for us. How we need to go through very challenging times in order to grow spiritually and to gain patience, understanding and character. We know all that, it’s just that life gets really hard sometimes. I was watching a video today where a speaker was saying that once we get saved, God doesn’t see us as we are anymore. He sees the blood of Jesus. When He looks at us, He sees Jesus. So would we be justified in saying that if God saw His only Son when He looks at us, He should give us a little more of what we want and a little less of what is supposed to be good for us.
Let us take a look at the life of Jesus. Maybe we will be able to understand better. After Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist, Jesus was taken to the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. This is Matthew 4:1-10. Then Satan came to Him and Jesus was firstly tempted by food. He was extremely hungry. How would you feel if you hadn’t eaten for almost a month and a half? The devil told him to turn stones into bread. There was certainly no reason He couldn’t do it, but He would not give in to the enemy. Every time that Satan tempted him, Jesus came back with an answer from scripture.
Then, of course, the chief priests and the Pharisees continuously questioned Jesus on His authority. He couldn’t go anywhere peacefully.
Matthew 12:9-13 gives the account of how Jesus healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. The Pharisees started to plot how to kill Jesus after this incident.
Matthew 12:22-24, Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
Luke 4:28 – 29, All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove Him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.
He was criticized over and over and over again for doing good. Eventually He was arrested, tried, found guilty without reason, tortured, humiliated and hung on a cross to die.
Now you tell me when last all these things, or any of them, for that matter, happened to you? Just think about is for a while. We are tempted, but not to the extent that Jesus was tempted. Most of us haven’t healed many people of the Sabbath, or any other day for that matter. And if we did, were we judged for doing it? And when was the last time you drove out a demon and your salvation was questioned? Maybe I shouldn’t ask when one of us was run out of town for our faith. Very few people have such assurance of their salvation that they are willing to die for it.
Jesus was confronted with all these things and many, many more in the space of three short years. God did not give Jesus an easy life while He was on earth. His only begotten son did not live in the lap of luxury or have everything that his heart desired. His blessings were truly all saved up for heaven. If Jesus didn’t have a ‘bed of roses’ kind of life, who are we to desire one?
I’m not saying that everything will always be a struggle, but I know that if we live according to what Jesus taught, we should be prepared to live the kind of life He did. I do know that if we do the things the way Jesus did them, we are also going to have blessing stored up for us in Heaven.

The onslaught

I have a few friends who are really tired of struggling. They are asking what more they can do to get some favour. What can they do to get a break. The economy is tough, the political situation isn’t ideal and it looks like the devil has launched a full on assault against believers.

John 1:14, And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as on the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus is the Word, and the Word as we know it is the Bible. And a word is something that is spoken or written. When God created the world he spoke and the things He spoke come into being. Jesus was the form that God took when He manifested on earth. The Word in human form.

Ephesians 6:17, And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

We need to put on the armour so that we are protected against the onslaught. It also says that we have to use the sword of the Spirit. That is the Word of God. The Scriptures. But the scriptures don’t help us one bit if we don’t have a relationship with Jesus, the Word. The Word of God only has power when we are walking in a relationship with Jesus.

Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.

We need to be guided by God’s Word, by the things that are written in the Bible. I realise that everything in the Bible is old. Very old. Thousands of years old. But in all these thousands of years human nature has not changed. The issues, challenges and the questions that people have are still the same. Cain was jealous of Abel; People were so lawless that God got Noah to build an ark and destroyed everyone in a flood; Abram lied about Sarah being his sister and had a child by someone other than his wife; Jacob cheated Esau; Joseph’s brothers sold him to slave traders. That’s just the first 37 chapters of the Bible. Doesn’t it sound a lot like every other soapie on TV? Believe me, the bible really does have all the answers.

John 10:10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.

The devil is our enemy. There is no midway when it comes to good and evil. The devil is bad and he wants us dead. He isn’t going to be nice to us when we get into his territory. We cannot afford to be Sunday Christians and then run our lives and our businesses like the world on the other six days. If we aren’t totally sold out to Jesus, we are going to be easy prey to the lies that the enemy is whispering into our ears. He wants to steal our families, our money and our integrity. When he has all those things he is going to try his level best to kill us. We simply have to turn away from everything that is evil and cling to Jesus because that is the only way we are going to have eternal life.

Proverbs 18:10, The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and they are safe.


Jesus is the name above all names and when we are in any trouble we need to call out to Him. If we have questions about how to live He is the one to ask. If we have trouble we can expect Him to give us the best advice.

I would like to sum it up as follows. The way we can fight the devil is by using the Word. We have to confess Scriptures over our situations. We can expect victory. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11) He overcame the enemy with words from scripture. We have to follow His example and find verses in the Bible that are relevant for the situations that we are in and we have to speak them. Spoken words have so much power and the spoken word is the power that we have been given over our enemy.

Find your verses today and start speaking them!



Reject the enemy

Philippians 4:8 – “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are  noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.

The things which you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Romans 16:20 – “The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, Amen.”


Why does the bible tell you to think about good things? So that the God of peace will be with you, and He will give you victory over the enemy. We need to crush Satan under our feet because it is Satan that lies to us and causes all kinds on bad things to happen to us. Maybe not entirely true. Satan lies to us and we believe him and then we think negative thoughts that cause bad things to happen to us.

Proverbs 23:7 – “For as he thinks in his heart so is he.”

This verse tells you that what you think about is what you become. If you keep thinking that you aren’t good enough you probably won’t measure up, even if it’s to your own standards. If you think you can’t do something I can almost guarantee you that you will not be able to. One of the biggest lies the enemy tells is that you aren’t good enough. Very few people haven’t felt that way in some stage of their life.


John 8:44 – “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie he speak from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.


2 Corinthians 11:14 –  “ And no wonder! For Satan transforms himself into an angel of light.”


1 Peter5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”


Therefore, if you think negative thoughts, you will become negative in your heart, you will speak negative things and you will be a negative influence on everyone you come into contact with. If you keep thinking these think negative thoughts you are playing into the enemy’s hand. Conversely, if you think positive, pure and good thoughts the God of peace will be with you. When the God of peace is with you Satan will be crushed under yout feet! That’s a victory! If thinking positive thoughts is all it takes to put Satan under your feet that’s not so hard. It’s easy! But is it? If you have been thinking negative thoughts for so many years how can you change now?


Romans 12:2 – “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”


2 Corinthians 10:4-6 – “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of god, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”


Once again, Proverbs 23:7 – “For as he thinks in his heart, so he is.”

What if your circumstances are really hard? What if your spouse cheated on you? Or there’s no money in the bank? What if your doctor gives you a deadly diagnosis? What if the thought that comes into your head is one that says you should get hold of a gun and blow your brains out, or take a whole bottle of sleeping pills so that you do not have to go through the pain? What then? Recognize that thought as one that doesn’t come from God. Take it captive. Isolate it. Reject it immediately.

James 4:7 says, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..”

Resist the devil, in other words, do not entertain that thought. Don’t allow it to take up space in your mind. Do not invite it in, it has no place in your life. Those kinds of thoughts do not come from the Holy Spirit. They are straight from the pit of hell and if you take heed of them that’s where you are going to end up together with the one from whom they originate. Please do not even contemplate that God will put thoughts like that in your mind. He is a loving and merciful Father and He loves you. He does not want to harm you in any way. He went as far as allowing His only son to die so that you can have everlasting life. John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Be aware that every thought that you have that will cause harm to yourself or to someone else does not come from  God. Look for good things to think about. Start a gratitude journal and list things you are grateful for every day. Surround yourself with positive people. Just remember that there will always be difficult circumstances but they will change. The only thing that will never ever change is God and the love He has for you.