The devil is continually attacking the godly. Nonetheless, his attacks on Christians only advance them in their growth in grace. They learn to persevere through the trials with which he afflicts them. The result is that they are made “perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4). His assault on the Redeemer only served to bring about redemption. “God holds Satan on a chain,” wrote Jonathan Edwards. “When a person is converted, he is out of Satan’s ultimate reach.” It is the absolute height of foolishness to oppose an omniscient, omnipotent being and attempt to thwart his ultimate designs. Yet that is exactly what the devil tries to do when he attacks the godly. He finds himself in direct opposition to God who will inevitably use his tactics toward their ultimate good. Edwards reflected,
Seeing the devil is so cunning and subtle, it may seem a paradox why he will endeavour to frustrate the designs of an Omniscient Being, or to pretend to controvert him that is omnipotent, … And seeing he has experience of it, for so long a time, all his deep-laid contrivances have at last come out to his own overthrow, and the work has been directly contrary to his design. To this I say, that although the devil be exceeding crafty and subtle yet he is one of the greatest fools and blockheads in the world … although he never attempted any thing against God but he was disappointed, yet he cannot bear to be quiet and refrain from exercising himself with all his might and subtlety against the increase of holiness; though, if he considered, he might know that it will turn to its advantage.Continue reading →
Any number of megalomaniacs have dreamed about it. A few have managed to get pretty far – but not quite there. The rest have had to stick to board games. Anyone up for some Risk®? Someday it’s going to happen. And today we’re going to find out what that will be like.
For many people, when we claim that we have eternal life and we know it, it seems like the height of arrogance. Further, we are all plagued by doubts at some level. Despite all of this we should not lose heart.
Peter has been reminding us of the necessity of suffering, but suffering simply cannot be enjoyed for its own sake. Here he draws our attention to the glory that awaits us as God’s people in the presence of our Lord.