I recently finished the book The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins? novel-soon-to-be-major-motion-picture. It was quite an enjoyable read, and I?m looking forward to seeing the movie. I won?t give away any of the plot, but the basic storyline follows a girl who is forced by a cruel government to participate in a kind of gladiator games where twenty-four teens are thrown into an arena and forced to battle to the death. ?Most of the book takes place in the arena where Katniss, the main character, attempts to survive in a hostile landscape where literally everyone and everything is out to get her. And that got me thinking?the Christian life feels like that sometimes, doesn?t it?
Our inward sins and weaknesses war against our souls. 1 Peter 2:11: ?Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.?
The world in rebellion against God seeks either to seduce or destroy us. John 15:18: ?If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.?
If that?s not enough, we have a great Enemy of our souls, Satan himself, who has no greater desire than to destroy each one of God?s people. 1 Peter 5:8: ?Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.?
The Bible and our own experience are clear: we have much set against us. What can give courage and hope to a pilgrim passing through such a war zone? Jonathon Edwards? sermons on 1 Corinthians 13 have been feeding my soul for months, and once again in reading I came across another wonderful insight. In the midst of all our foes, Edwards says, God Himself is our defense and salvation itself is our fortress.
[God?s] mighty power, by which he is able to subdue all things to himself, is on our side, and pledged for our protection, so that none of our enemies shall be able to destroy us. We may rejoice that we have a strong city, unto which God has appointed salvation for walls and bulwarks?The everlasting arms are underneath us. Jehovah, who rides upon the heavens, is our help. And all our foes He will subdue under his feet; so that we may well rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the rock of our salvation. (Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, p. 302).
Do all things seem against you today? Are you tempted to raise the white flag in your battle against sin, Satan, and the world? Remember this, and stand firm. ?If God is for us, who can be against us??