The Apostle Paul speaks in his letters about coming under spiritual attack. He speaks in Ephesians about taking on the whole armour of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit. (ref: Ephesians 6:13-17)
Sometimes our trials and tribulations come from this. And yes, we should do battle, not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual wickedness. At other times our distresses come from a discipline for our own sins or weaknesses which need correction, as the Apostle Peter relates in one of his own letters. (I was told on the journey back from evening fellowship/teaching/prayer that this is likely 2 Peter.)
How do we discern between the two? I suspect that the truth is that they both run alongside each other. Every rod of discipline can be taken too far and received beyond its intended measure. This is an attack from the enemy. Not from people – though the wicked shall love to persecute the believers, especially those who are weak and isolated.
If at all possible seek fellowship at these times. Face to face is by far best, though sometimes a phone call or text is sufficient. If worst comes to worst then online communication is still a recourse of action for those with internet access.
Seek out the brethren, seek God in prayer, however faltering your own prayer life may be, seek to read Scripture, even if you are far from an expert in theological matter and Bible study. It can be quite astounding where help coms from if we prayerfully wait for it and remember the words of Jesus and the saints, especially the words of the Apostles recorded in the New Testament.
(Written on the afternoon of the First Sunday of February, edited during the night the first day and the second day.)