Satan’s Agenda Exposed in Suffering

Satan’s agenda exposed: He doesn’t want you to discover the good that can come from suffering. He wants your circumstances to tear you down and hold you in a state of despair. His goal is to get you to respond to what you see rather than based on what God has said. 

There are always two agendas at work in our lives when we suffer—God’s and Satan’s. God's agenda is tied to restoration and redemption. Satan’s agenda is tied to affliction and torment.

Know What You’re Up Against

To know what you are up against in the spiritual sense of suffering, you have to understand how the enemy is at work. You have to know Satan’s agenda and who he is. When you understand his agenda, and God’s, you can come out of agreement with the one designed to afflict you (Satan’s) and agree with the one designed to sanctify you (God’s). 

10 Verses: Satan’s Agenda Exposed

Here are 10 verses that expose Satan’s agenda in nearly every aspect of your life, specifically pain and suffering. 

To tempt when you lack self-control

  1. “… so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”—1 Corinthians 7:5

To get you to sin in anger

  1. “’Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”—Ephesians 4:26-27

To lead you astray and deceive

  1. “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”—2 Corinthians 11:3

To kill, steal, and destroy

  1. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy… “—John 10:10 

To use your circumstances and suffering for evil 

  1. “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.”—Genesis 50:20 (emphasis added)

To lie to you about your circumstances and suffering

  1. “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 speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”—John 8:44

To appear as an angel of light

  1. “… For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”—2 Corinthians 11:14-15

To get you to focus on earthly, temporal concerns

  1. “But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’”—Matthew 16:23

To devour you

  1. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”—1 Peter 5:8

To stir up conflict and strife

  1. “By pride comes nothing but strife…”—Proverbs 13:10
 grieving crying woman with tears eyes closeup

In Summary…

When you go through pain and suffering, you are in distress and get angry. When you are weak physically and emotionally, you start to lack self-control, and Satan attempts to lead you astray and deceive you. He lies to you about our situation and gives you a counterfeit alternative that appears good—“as an angel of light.” It’s a bait-and-switch agenda designed to devour and distress. 

10 Verses: God’s Agenda of Sanctification

Here are 10 verses that reflect God’s heart to sanctify you through pain and suffering so that you grow in your knowledge of Jesus and have a testimony of who He is and how He transformed you. 

To better understand His grace and strength

  1. “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’”—2 Corinthians 12:7-9

To humble you so that you may be lifted up

  1. “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”—Matthew 23:12

To test you

  1. “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”—Deuteronomy 8:2

To produce Christ-like character so that you lack nothing

  1. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be [b]perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”—James 1:2-4

To bless you and give you “the crown of life”

  1. “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”—James 1:12

To sanctify you

  1. “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”—2 Timothy 2:21

To give you abundant life

  1. “… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”—John 10:10

To prepare and equip you for good works

  1. “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”—Hebrews 13:21

To bear fruit through you 

  1. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”—John 15:14-15

To use suffering for good 

  1. “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.—Genesis 50:20 (emphasis added)
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In Summary…

God does not waste your pain and suffering. Satan has an agenda, but so does God. And remember, greater is He in you than he who is in the world. Not only does God want to bring about restoration and healing during difficult circumstances, but He also wants to grow you. God’s pathway to becoming spiritually mature and more Christ-like is through suffering—in other words, “No pain, no gain.” You might be going through a painful situation, but it will produce a great harvest if you allow it to deepen your dependency on Jesus. 

What We’ve Learned

From the verses above, we learn that God desires to use pain and suffering in our lives for a greater good. On the other side of the pain is a prize! Becoming spiritually mature and being used greatly for God involves suffering deeply. 

The Spiritual Battle in Suffering

Satan uses suffering for our affliction. God uses suffering for our sanctification.

Satan’s agenda is to use suffering to…

  • Destroy our faith
  • Ruin our faith 

God’s agenda is to use suffering to…

  • Develop our faith
  • Refine your faith

Just as a goldsmith puts metal into the fire to get rid of impurities and make it more moldable, so too does God. He tests our faith so that we can be crafted into something useful and beautiful. This is the process of sanctification. And He does this through suffering. 

Satan will tempt you, but God will test you. God sees pain and suffering as a pathway to make you complete…

  • “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”—James 1:3

The agenda that ultimately influences your life in times of suffering is directly related to how you respond. 

  • Satan wants you to respond based on what you see. 
  • God wants you to respond based on what He has said.

In Conclusion

The Word of God exposes Satan’s agenda for suffering. He wants to lead you astray. God also has an agenda, and it is to lead you to Him. So then, how do you respond to suffering? 

When you respond to suffering in humility, it increases your dependency on God, allowing His strength to be experienced in your weakness, and then you will come to know the power of God. Through this process, you are sanctified and become spiritually mature. 

Allow God to guide you through whatever you are facing today. His grace is sufficient to endure all the suffering you face in life! And it will be worth it all when we see Christ!