Why does God allow Satan and the demons to attack us?

If God is all-powerful, why does He allow Satan to attack us? We are not given all the answers to this question, but Scripture does make certain things clear. First, it is not God's desire for Satan to attack people. Satan attacked Eve in the Garden of Eden in the form of a serpent. Adam and Eve sinned, and all people have become sinful in nature and are likewise open to the temptations of Satan (1 Peter 5:8).

When God does allow Satan to attack a person, there are reasons for it. Job did not see why God allowed Satan to attack him (Job 1:12), yet God used the situation to thwart Satan's boasts and to bring glory to the Lord.

Sometimes, God allows temptation from Satan as a test. Even Jesus was tested through temptation by Satan in the desert (Matthew 4:1-10). Jesus, unlike Adam, passed the test. He said "no" to sin and won the victory.

Another reason God might allow Satan to attack is to build our maturity. Ephesians 6:10-18 speaks of putting on the armor of God to stand against Satan. This requires dependence on God through prayer and the use of the Word of God.

Other times, the Lord allows testing so we can be a comfort to others later. "Blessed be the . . . God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort, too" (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

Even when we have no clear answers to explain why God allows Satan to attack, we still have the promise of Romans 8:28: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." No matter how severe the attack, we know that "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

God's intention is always for our good. At times, He allows Satan to come against us, perhaps to strengthen our faith, to test us, or to prepare us to help others in their time of need. Regardless of the reason, we can stand firm in God's promises, including the promise of 1 John 4:4, "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

We are never abandoned. When Satan attacks, God's help is near. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

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