Just yesterday I received a phone call from a friend who is going through hard times.  This particular person is a believer in Christ Jesus and what He did on the cross for us.  When she called, I felt in my spirit she was on the verge of giving up.  My heart hurt at hearing about her situation, and we prayed, as we often have in the past.  For her, it’s been one battle after the other for all the years I’ve known her.  She has been taught to throw her burdens over on the Lord Jesus and leave them there.  Now understand, we all go through hard times, for we all have a common enemy which is Satan, and he is an equal-opportunity destroyer.  That means he hates me as much as he hates you, so he doesn’t care whose day he ruins, just as long as it’s someone.  And if it’s someone who loves the Lord, then so much the better, it’s like we have a target painted upon our back.
    I told her about Job, who suffered more than anyone else in the Old Testament, yet God allowed the devil to try him because He knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that Job was faithful.  When we look at what Job went through, it would appear that God actually allowed Satan to tempt Him, and that poor Job was just a pawn on the chess board to be played for heavenly entertainment.  First he lost all his children, then his body was afflicted.  This was not just a one-day hit upon Job, but rather it just went one day after day, one hard blow after another.  We can read about part of it in Job chapter 2:
Job 2:1  Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
Job 2:2  And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Job 2:3  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
Job 2:4  And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.
Job 2:5  But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Job 2:6  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
Job 2:7  So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
Job 2:8  And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.
Job 2:9  Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
By now most would have given up and the devil would have won.  It’s hard to stand for God when even your family thinks you’re foolish for doing so, and I’ve known many people in that same situation.  But God had an ace up His sleeve, or rather, He had JOB up His sleeve.  Listen to what Job said to his wife:

Job 2:10  But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

   Job knew God wasn’t doing this junk to him.  Now, he may not have understood why God was allowing the devil to walk all over him, but he knew enough of God’s goodness to know he could trust God through it all.  Even Job’s friends admonished him, telling him there must be some hidden sin in his life else God would not allow all this to come upon him.  Let me tell you what; it’s hard to hold on to God’s promises when your friends and family are telling you that God is doing this to you because you’ve sinned.  We’ve all probably had those self-righteous people telling us when we are going through trials that it is our fault because we’ve sinned.  At least I have.  Now, the Lord Jesus had not yet died on the cross to pay for our sins at the time when Job lived, so that made the situation even harder for Job, because though he had the promise of a Messiah coming one day in the future, it had not happened yet.  But we have no such problem in this day, because Jesus already has come and changed our whole situation. 
    The Bible tells us in the New Testament that the redeeming work of Jesus is a completed work, meaning, He isn’t GOING to redeem us, He already HAS.  Come, let us reason together here:  if the Lord Jesus died on the cross as payment for our sins, bearing in His own body the punishment for all our sins, then why on earth would the heavenly Father be trying to exact that punishment for sin from YOU and ME??  Plain and simple:  HE ISN’T!!  The debt for sin has been satisfied in full!   Then why are we being seemingly punished by God?  We aren’t!  We’re being punished by Satan.  Now, stay with me, I’m going somewhere here….
 Remember over in the New Testament where the Apostle Paul spoke these words:
2Co 10:1  Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
2Co 10:2  But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Co 10:6  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
2Co 10:7  Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.
2Co 10:8  For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
2Co 10:9  That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
   Brothers and sisters, there’s something you need to know right now if you’re ever going to walk in the victory of Christ Jesus, and that is, He has given you authority over the works of the enemy.  Jesus said He came to destroy the works of the devil.  He didn’t say He came to destroy the devil, but his works.  Look at the authority the Lord Jesus gave us in Matthew 10:8, and even COMMANDED us to wield: Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
 By that verse alone, even without considering all the others that empower the disciples of Christ Jesus (that’s US), do you think we’re supposed to just sit around and let the devil use us for a doormat?  Hmmmm?  I don’t think so.  We cry out to God to deliver us from this or that, and we fail to see He has put the solution right under our noses!  How did the Lord Jesus heal and cast out devils?  By His Word!  He gave us the authority to speak forth using His name to move our mountains, yet we continue to cry out to God to ask HIM to move our mountains for us.
   So many of the Lord’s children are sorely tormented by the devil day and night, and they just TAKE IT, thinking they are doing God some great service.  What’s wrong with that picture?  Some would say, well, Jesus suffered, so we must suffer.  Ok, if you want to suffer the devil spoiling all your family, your health, your goods, then ok, do so, that’s your business.  But don’t expect ME to let the devil walk all over me because I’m not going to, because Jesus gave me the authority to run the devil off and destroy his works over my life, and believe me, I’m going to use it!
   While Job did not in his lifetime have the authority to use the name of Jesus to get the devil off his back, he trusted God to do it for him, and retained his integrity during his trials by not cursing God or doubting his relationship with God.  In the end, even after it looked like even God himself had turned His back upon Job,  God rewarded Job double for his trouble, double the children, double the goods, and he was even told to pray for his “doubting Thomas” friends so they would be forgiven for their sins. God knew the plan all along how He would use what the devil meant for evil to destroy Job, to bless him in the end.  And He knows His plans for you for good, so stop thinking you’re going to give up. Stand your ground for God, for He is looking all over the earth for those whom He can trust with His power, who won’t blink when the devil gets in their face.
   You see, Job knew a thing or two about the integrity of God, and we could stand to learn from him, for God is not a man that He should lie.  People tend to think that because men lie to them, God will also lie.  Not so.  We need to learn to believe what the Bible tells us, both Old Testament, and New Testament, then act upon it.  It is written in Job 13:15: Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

We know something Job didn’t know.  God isn’t out to slay us.  Oh, no!  He sent His Son and redeemed us from our sins, and giving us all the authority we would ever need to keep the devil at bay.  In conclusion, let’s consider this incident in Matthew 21:
Mat 21:18  Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
Mat 21:19  And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
Mat 21:20  And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
Mat 21:21  Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
Mat 21:22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
   Jesus didn’t give us this authority so we could go around cursing fig trees, but rather to show us that His authority extends over all creation, from the least to the greatest, from the twig to the mountain and whatsoever we ask in prayer, BELIEVING, we shall receive.  While the scope of that authority is limited by God to that which we believe for, He made sure it is sufficient for believers to never be defeated by the devil and his crew.  So, if we are walked all over by the devil and defeated, it won’t be God’s fault, it will be our own, for laying down and being passive.  And it won’t be because we’ve sinned, either, because Jesus removed our sins from us as far as the East is from the West, so we can’t use that excuse either.   He left us with the promise in verse 22 that covers every need we will ever have, great or small, in both the spiritual world and the physical: And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. 

  So, what are you going to do, My children?  Well, Lord, I’m going to believe!