Look at this! The 5th of November already! Whew!
My pilgrim devo struck a particular chord with me today. It was an excerpt by William Gurnall (1616-1679) from his book “The Christian in Complete Armour.” Wikipedia reports, “It is described as a magazine whence the Christian is furnished with spiritual arms for the battle, helped on with his armour, and taught the use of his weapon; together with the happy issue of the whole war. It is thus considered a classic on spiritual warfare.” Several well-known theologians praised it highly, including John Newton, in which Wikipedi reports, “…the converted slave trader, said that if he were confined to one book beside the Bible, he’d choose Christian Armour.”
Let’s take a look at today’s passage from “Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings Volume I” as edited by Richard Rushing.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5
If Satan fails in his fiery darts of temptation, he will seek to dismay and discourage the Christian with the spirit of fear. Faith alone can quench these fiery darts. These darts are held in the enemy’s reserve. When temptations prove unsuccessful, he opens this quiver and sends a shower of these arrows to set the soul on fire. If he cannot carry a soul laughing to hell, he will endeavor to make him go mourning to heaven. We can be greatly encouraged when we see Satan hard put to these arrows. The darts of Job were of this sort. When God gave Satan leave to practice his skill, Satan did not use the golden apple of profit or pleasure, but sought to stir up unholy thoughts to defame God: ‘Curse God and die,’ his wife said. This is a great disturbance in the imagination of a saint. Faith will not harbor unworthy thoughts of God in the heart. If your view of God is shaped by Scripture, it is impossible to have anything but holy and loyal thoughts of God. Satan seeks to encourage hard thoughts of God when his providence is hard to understand. Some have questioned God’s justice because he does not judge speedily. Others have questioned his care and faithfulness in not providing better for his servants or in allowing their afflictions. Satan seeks for us to view God through these broken glasses. Job quenched this dart: ‘You speak as a foolish woman.’ What God takes from me is less than I owe him, and what he leaves me is more than I deserve. Unbecoming thoughts or words about God are the product of a rash and hasty spirit. It is fitting for Christians to bless God in the saddest condition that can befall them. Faith finds mercy in the greatest of affliction and in the saddest mixture of providence. Praise God for past mercies and it will not be long before you have a new song in your mouth for the present mercy.
I know, that’s a mouthful, but it sang to me. I was so excited that I decided I was going to buy his book. It turns out, I already have it. It was a gift book through Alistair Beggs’ Truth for Life ministries. Now I get to read it! How cool is that!
Father, thank you for the encouragement you give to us through fellow servants of Christ. You indeed are the God of all comfort, just as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers