It’s National Infertility Awareness Week.
For more than four years, my husband and I have walked a journey that no couple imagines they will face: infertility. We have never experienced the joys of a positive pregnancy test or holding our child in our arms. We have watched the majority of our friends, family, and church build their families. And we’ve been broken by it.
My body is broken. My spirit has been broken. And if I am not diligently and intently immersed in the truth of God’s Word, the enemy is quick to spit lies, and I am quick to listen.
The enemy loves broken bodies. He loves broken spirits. And infertility is a painful combination of both. As we wait for a child amongst our broken bodies and minds, the enemy loves to use infertility.
A Chance to Deceive
The Hebrew name for “Satan” means an adversary, an enemy, and an accuser. Scripture calls him the “father of lies” (John 8:44). He’ll do anything within his grasp to twist the truth of God’s Word. He desires to make us believe that God doesn’t love us, that he’s forgotten us, or that we’re being punished through infertility. He’ll deceive us into believing that we aren’t blessed or that we are less loved than those who have children. We succumb to the lie that we don’t deserve good gifts from our Heavenly Father.
Have you been deceived into believing those lies? I certainly have. This means we must prepare for his clever deception by knowing and standing firm on God’s truth. Peter warns and encourages us:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9).
If we are not watchful, we become easy prey to an enemy who won’t back down until he is forever defeated. So we must actively resist his deception and be firm in our faith through biblical knowledge and application.
An Opportunity to Remind
If you are openly using infertility as an opportunity to share the gospel and God’s goodness through your suffering, the enemy is hating it. Why? Because it advances God’s kingdom and glorifies Jesus Christ. Satan desires for us to live as cowards, without confidence, and to stay away from opportunities to advance Christ. He tries to accomplish this this by subtly reminding us of our failures.
He reminds us, Look at what you’ve been, what you’ve done. There’s no way God wants you after all your failures. He jumps at the opportunity to remind us of our past: Remember your sexual rebellion and lack of obedience? Remember your dirtiness? You are childless because of this. You’ve ruined your life. You’ve ruined your spouse’s life.
But there’s no reason to believe this, for Jesus reminds us to forget who we’ve been and look at who we will be. Our past mistakes have no claim over us, and wallowing in an already forgiven past takes away the beauty and meaning of Christ’s sacrifice. Friend, if you are in Christ, you are a new creation. Your past is behind you, and new life awaits you (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I know what the devil will say to you. He will say to you, “You are a sinner!” Tell him you know you are, but that for all that you are justified. He will tell you of the greatness of your sin. Tell him of the greatness of Christ’s righteousness. He will tell you of all your mishaps and your backslidings, of your offences and your wanderings. Tell him, and tell your own conscience, that you know all that, but that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and that, although your sin be great, Christ is quite able to put it all away. (Charles Spurgeon)
A Platform for Lies
There have been times when I’ve read something or received advice that gets me thinking in the wrong direction. I’ll be tempted to believe truths the world offers—but if they are not God’s truths, they will hinder a harvest of righteousness. Satan knows exactly when we’re desperate and most prone to believe lies. Infertility is a fantastic opportunity for him to spit lies that appeal to our immediate needs.
Naturally, we crave comfort, security, and affirmation, which means we’ll do anything to avoid pain and suffering. But when we start listening to the enemy, unbiblical solutions can sound reasonable and right to us, yet can be dangerously wrong. James tells us where following our own desires will eventually lead:
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin and sin, when it is fully grown brings forth death. (1:14-15)
Perhaps you’re believing the lie that you can accomplish everything within your own strength, that all power and ability resides within you. Maybe you believe you don’t need the Lord to get you through infertility. Beware of this, because the enemy’s favorite tactic is to take advantage of those who feel confident in their own abilities and strengths, believing they can never fall.
…But He’ll Never Win
The good news for all who believe is that Jesus has already delivered a death blow to our enemy through his resurrection. Though Satan still tries to create havoc through lies and deception, he no longer has authority over us. The very reason that the Son of God took on flesh and blood for us was “that through death he might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). Christ’s death on the cross took away our sins, satisfied the law—and he defeated Satan, disarming the power that he holds over people.
Jesus will return to finally take back his kingdom and authority. As we wait for our rightful Author and Owner to come back, we can rejoice confidently in God’s words found in Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Are you immersing yourself in the Word that leads to life, holiness, and everlasting joy? Or are you falling into deception from the enemy? If we aren’t abiding in the Lord, we will be deceived. Will you be led into grumbling, self-pity, and discontentment? Or will you rise victorious, living in peace, contentment, and boldness? Today and every day, I choose victory.
This article originally appeared on UnlockingTheBible.org. Used with permission.
Meredith Hodge lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband Matt and their Goldendoodle Rudy. She is a freelance writer and editor who loves coffee, spending time in nature, and serving others. Meredith is the author of "It's Positive!," a blog bringing gospel-centered hope and encouragement to those struggling with infertility.
Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock/hemul75
Publication date: April 27, 2017