Pain, agony and fear are all weapons of the enemy employed to harm us. They appear to delink us from our relationship with God. They work to overwhelm us that we should not trust God as our true Helper. They create doubts in our hearts and minds concerning the promises and goodness of God. Succumbing to them is forgetting all the wonderful works God has performed for us. They are not easy to overcome. They are known to weaken us both physically and emotionally. Over a period of time they are able to change our attitude and personality. As Christians we should always be aware of them. Satan always seeks opportunity through them. He wants us to give up following the Lord. But the very thing we ought to do while facing them is to call on the name of the Lord. For “the name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe” (Prov. 18:10).
No one is free of pain, agony and fear. However, everyone that seeks the Lord is freed from them. An unbeliever can never fully be freed from them. For the Lord God alone destroys the intent and the schemes of the devil. It is the wisdom of righteousness to consider the Lord as a strong tower. Unless one believed Him as his or her personal Savior, he or she cannot use that wisdom. By it we know we can run into Him and be safe. He removes all forms of pain, agony and fear. He has reassured of it to His people many times and has further assured it for the sake of the ones who would in the latter days believe in Him. “He measured its length, twenty cubits, and the width, twenty cubits, before the nave; and he said to me, ‘This is the most holy place’” (Ezek. 41:4). He assured He is ever present for them. He measured the temple and revealed that the most holy place stands. He always dwelt in the most holy place; He has not changed it. And through Christ has made it much more accessible to all. The re-measuring of the temple has nothing to do with its existence in physical form. Rather, it has everything to do with God’s alternative plan to be nearer to His people. He willed to make the heaven and His throne accessible to all who trust in Him.
As the Lord made Himself available to us, it is ominous for the enemy that we call upon His name. It is only at the uttering of the Lord’s name that the devil feels threatened. Once we enter Him, the devil has no opportunity to overpower us with his weapons. It is a defeat to the devil when we do not give up following the Lord. There are times we feel the Lord has forsaken us. This is nothing but the pain or fear of the situations we face. The enemy has brought about a situation to cause agony, and with his voice and cleverness to deceive compels us to think the Lord left us. But the Lord has never really left us. He has chosen us to be His people. He has promised to be our safe haven, deliverer and protector. Indeed, He stands as a strong tower and desires we run into Him. He is such a tower where the enemy cannot enter and becomes more vulnerable.
When we call upon the name of the Lord, He helps us with all His power. Because His power is unassailable, His name is a strong tower. Whatever the circumstances we are in, and the pain, agony and fear we are encompassed with, they are of no great issue to Him. He is able to deliver us. He does such works that after He has done them we will be in awe. We know this, because of the promises He made in the Word. Paul and Silas believed in them. Therefore, they did the following. “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25). They were treated unjustly and with contempt for proclaiming the salvation God through Christ has freely availed. They suffered pain, agony and fear. The enemy overwhelmed their bodies, but not their hearts that were filled with the goodness of God. They called on the name of the Lord and He rescued them. Furthermore, salvation came to the household of the jailor. The Lord used their suffering to bring glory to His name. Satan was dealt a double blow. This remarkable incident gives us hope for good things. So, when the enemy suffers us, we know the Tower into which we run is not futile. The Lord causes more glory, and consequently joy through suffering.
All we must do when attacked by the enemy is to call on the name of the Lord; He takes care of the rest. He works through our situations by guiding us wisely with His Word and by performing works. No matter what the enemy throws at us to cause suffering, the Lord has an even better plan to turn it for the good. This is true, for it is the very essence of His promises toward all who trusted in Him. Our relationship with Him inevitably leads us to Him, and He does what He knows best. Paul suffered greatly for Christ. The devil threw numerous tactics at him, but the result was not as he wished or imagined. Paul perhaps had as many enemies as friends. Still, by what the Lord did for him and how, He said, “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel” (Phil. 1:12). Sometimes it was his close associates that betrayed him. Other times it was his countrymen, that once knew him dearly, who strived to put an end to his life. Then, there were other causes like robbers and shipwrecks. And perhaps the most emotional suffering was when some of those whom he led to Christ turned away from his gospel while some called him incompetent and weak. And God used all his circumstances to win many more. Not only this, we have through him more than half the New Testament writings for the greater progress of the gospel.
When we face the enemy’s wrath, there are three things we should consider. Why we suffer, what should be done and how will it end? We suffer pain, agony and fear, because we obey the Lord. To find solace we need to run to the Lord and it will end in glory and joy. As believers we are no longer citizens of this world. Our names are written in heaven and our homes prepared in eternity. We are chosen for one good work alone. It is the greater progress of the gospel. Every other good work is for it. For this reason also, the Lord allows suffering in our life. There is a greater need for the greater progress of the gospel. For the Spirit warned saying, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come” (2 Tim. 3:1). When many churches became corrupt with various sins, they limited gospel’s progress. We may not all be preachers or pastors, but we have all been called and chosen to carry the cross for the sake of the gospel. Each one has a duty according to the purpose God has given that ensures the gospel progress is not disturbed. And when we are performing it, we face the enemy’s wrath. It is fearful at first to even think of it, but as we seek the Lord to pull us through, we will be saved. It will be the door for many to turn away from the corrupt churches. This indeed is the greater progress of the gospel through our circumstances; God will make sure it is. Nevertheless, there will always be some who do not accept what we say or believe. The apostles too faced such people in the process of saving many for Christ. “I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say” (3 John 1:9). We ought to recognize them and forewarn the rest concerning them.
It is the evil of the last days in them that directs them to reject the truth of our gospel. Satan will cause us pain, agony and fear through them, but the wisdom in our righteousness to seek the Lord helps us overcome them. Because the Lord is our strong tower, they become defenseless. For this reason, the Lord God re-measured the temple. It is to indicate that His presence to the chosen, which we are, is certain. Each time we need His help, we receive it. Through us the Lord decides the sheep and the goats. We progress through difficult times. “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:9).