When my oldest son was very young he did something to get himself in trouble. After his discipline he grew agitated and told me he was mad at the devil for making him do that thing he was in trouble for. I responded by sternly as I recall telling him not blame the devil for that. He had done this thing all in his own.
A couple of weeks ago I reached out to a preacher friend I knew was facing a trial. I merely said I was praying for him and expressed the sentiment "May God be glorified." He responded to me that people are too quick to give the devil credit for hardships. He believed trials were of God and he was determined only to acknowledge God in his trouble.
So does the devil do anything or not? Is it God who sovereignly oversees all things so that even trouble is of the Lord?
The answer is yes and yes
- Yes, the devil does attack, harass, harangue, oppress and try to discourage us
- Yes, the Lord oversees every facet, every aspect of our lives. Nothing happens except that:
- God knows,
- God allows and
- God uses it in His plan
Whether we see the devil in it or the Lord is most often a matter of perspective. It is generally, I think, healthier to attribute all things to God and to trust that He has our best at heart. But there are times when, for whatever reason, we best focus on Satan and give him a sober eye.
I doubt we ever do well to criticize those who see some circumstance from the opposite perspective as we. Likely there is truth in both perspectives. We would do better to consider the other's perspective so we see the whole picture.