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A Novel Idea: The Antagonist

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8 AMP

The protagonist of an intriguing novel often encounters someone who tries to push him or her off course. This person is called the antagonist. An antagonist stirs up our desire for the hero to win even more.

Job was a man content in life. He delighted in his seven children. He owned numerous animals which demonstrated his great wealth. He garnered respect in the community. Job’s desire in life was to honor God and care for his family.

Then trouble ensued. Antagonists entered his story. The Sabeans stole Job’s oxen and donkeys, then killed his servants. Fire from heaven burned up his sheep. The Chaldeans raided Job’s land, killing his remaining servants and taking his camels. Job’s children were killed when a house collapsed. Job was struck with painful, oozing sores all over his body. His wife told his to curse God and die. Job’s neighbors who once esteemed him now mocked him.

That is quite a list of antagonists! The ultimate antagonist behind Job’s misfortune was Satan. Even his name means adversary. Twice he appeared before God and asked permission to attack Job’s comfortable existence. He hoped to prove Job only followed God because of his blessings. Despite severe physical and emotional pain and financial ruin, Job stayed true to God. In fact his faith was strengthened in the process.

Satan also wants to mess up our lives. But we need not be afraid if we trust in Jesus. Through Him we can overcome as He did.

Jesus said, I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

Jesus, strengthen us so we can stand firmly, always trusting in you. May we follow your example to overcome the antagonists in our lives.


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