God Outwits His Opponent | William Gurnall

Rest easy, worried Christian. The duel is not between the church and Satan, but between Christ and Satan. These are the champions of the two sides. Gather round and watch the all-wise God joust with His crafty opponent. You shall behold the Almighty smite off this Goliath’s head with his own sword, and take this wicked knight in the trap of his own schemes. That faith which ascribes greatness and wisdom to God will shrink up Satan’s challenge into a thing of nothing. Unbelief fears Satan as a lion; faith treads upon him as a worm.

Observe God at work, and be assured that what He is about will be an excellent piece. Man’s wisdom may be leveled with folly, but God’s design is never interrupted. None can drive Him from His work. A builder cannot work when night draws the curtain, and he is driven off his scaffold by a rainstorm. But all the plots of hell and commotions on earth have not so much as shaken God’s hand to spoil one letter or line He has been drawing. The mystery of His providence may hang a curtain before His work so that we cannot see what He is doing, but even when darkness surrounds Him, righteousness is the seat of His throne forever. Where is our faith, saints? Let God be wise, and all men and devils be fools. Even if a Babel seems more likely to go up than a Babylon to be pulled down, yet believe God is making His secret approaches and will besiege Satan’s stronghold.

What does it matter though the church be like Jonah in the whale’s belly, swallowed up out of view by the fury of men? Do you not remember that the whale had no power to digest the prophet? Do not be too quick to bury the church before she is dead. Be patient while Christ tries His skill before you give it over. By your prayers, bring Christ to its grave to speak a resurrection word. The saints of old exhibited admirable faith in circumstances which were just as dire.

The Christian in Complete Armour, William Gurnall