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Editor's journey

Did you have a bad year?

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — In her poem The Warning, Betty Cribbs penned these words:

Sound the alarm, Satan is determined to do Christians harm.
He knows time is short; to evil ways he will resort.
He sneaks in to deceive, to rob and destroy those who believe.
Christians, open your spiritual eyes to see the tricks Satan tries.
Don’t be fooled by devious lies; our fleshly desires we must deny.
God knows our every thought and deed; be careful His Word to heed.

In recent weeks, I’ve heard many believers dub 2000 as a "bad year." Conflict, pain, hardship and failure riddled their families. One young man described his ordeal this way: "It was like a dark cloud hanging over me. Everything went wrong. Spiritually I felt like I was under constant attack. To my knowledge, I didn’t do anything to deserve this kind of trouble. It just came my way."

Followers of Jesus Christ shouldn’t be surprised when confronted by the enemy’s schemes. (See 1 Peter 4:12.) There won’t be a cease-fire until Jesus returns and Satan is bound. Yet some Christians pretend they can avoid the battle if they simply stay out of Satan’s way. They assume he only targets the devout, so they’re content to wallow in lukewarm faith. If they could only realize that their safety rests on their intimacy with Christ — not their distance from Him. Jesus is their protector, their bodyguard.

Satan seeks to steal and destroy. (See John 10:10.) He wants to devastate your home, corrupt your children and wreak havoc in your church. But 1 John 5:4,5 promises victory: "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God" (NIV).

It’s uncertain what this year holds for you and your family. But you can know who holds you in the palm of His nail-scarred hand. And with that assurance you can go through 2001 with great courage and anticipation.

— Hal Donaldson

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