Sometimes encouragement comes in the strangest of ways.
Like when it feels that everything is going against you. Or when you are being opposed at every turn.
Maybe you’re wondering why those negative feelings or experiences can be sources of encouragement. Let me explain.
John Climacus was a monk who wrote an influential book in the early 7th century called The Ladder of Divine Ascent. In it he wrote that “being warred against is a sign that we are making war.”*
He wasn’t talking about physical war, but spiritual warfare. What may be happening is that Satan sees you as a threat. Therefore, he’s spending more time and energy trying to take you down. He sees the good you are doing for God and for the people he has placed in your life, and so he’s working overtime to thwart you!
This assumes, of course, that you are in fact being faithful to God, seeking to do his will, and are humbly speaking and acting from a place of grace and truth.
But fear not. Think of the time when the prophet Elisha and his servant were surrounded by a massive and hostile army. “Don’t be afraid,” Elisha said: “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16). Elisha then prayed that God would open the eyes of the servant so he could see into the spiritual realm. He did and could instantly see God’s invisible forces prepared to do battle. He saw “the hills full of horses and chariots of fire” (verse 17).
Friends, what you see isn’t all there is to see. Fear not. Seek God. Know that you are not alone. Being warred against may be a sign that you are seen as a threat against the forces of evil in our world.
“Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
–*John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent (Virgin Mary of Australia and Oceania, no year given), 37.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.