Fighting the Good Fight – Encouragement from Gurnall

The Christians’ state in this life is described as wrestling. It is a solitary battle, a one against one fight. The Christian’s life is a continual warfare and so he needs a sword as much as a trowel. The Christian is assailed on every side by the enemy. When he is praying, Satan and the flesh are prattling to drown out his cry. Bathe your soul with frequent mediations of Christ’s love; it will make you disdain the very offer of sin. Do not say you love him as long as you can lay sin in your bosom, which pierced his heart. It would be a strange thing for a child to keep and delight to use no other knife but the one with which his father was stabbed. As a wise wrestler, fall with all your weight upon your enemy. Do not let it breathe or rise.

The state of grace only begins our warfare with sin. O how this should make us long to be at home, where there is no stir and scuffle; where there are no swords but palms; no drums, but harps; no groans of bleeding soldiers and wounded consciences, but sweet and wonderful music of praise to our God and the Lamb. Comfort yourselves with these things. There is a place of rest for the people of God. Here, we overcome only to fight again.

The battle of one temptation may be over, but the war remains. What peace can we have as long as devils can come out of their holes? But when death comes, the last stroke is struck. The good physician will perfectly cure you of all spiritual blindness and lameness. What is it, Christian, that takes away the joy of your life but combat? Is it not life that is loss, and death that is gain? Peace is sweet after war, and what tongue can express, what joy, what glory must fill the creature at the first sight of God and that blessed company. None but those who dwell there can tell.

– William Gurnall, from The Christian in Complete Armour


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