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Fighting to win

~ Thoughts from The Bruised Reed
Through Conflict to Victory christian_warrior

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57

This final chapter by Richard Sibbes gives one final dose of encouragement to warriors in the thick of battle.

He reminds us “there can be no victory where there is no combat.”

Expect resistance
From without.
And from within. We’re often our own worst enemy.

It takes much trouble to bring Christ into the heart, and to set up a tribunal for him to judge there. There is an army of lusts in mutiny against him.

The utmost strength of most men's endeavors and abilities is directed to keeping Christ from ruling in the soul.

Because Christ’s kingdom “limits the course of the will,” our natural wanderings may bristle at that bridle. The fleshly kingdom we reign wars against a spiritual government. We’re uncomfortable under judgment.

Thus don’t expect Satan to leave us quietly without a fight. He knows what he’s working with and will use it to his advantage. 

No, there is not so much as a thought of goodness discovered by [Satan], but he joins with corruption to kill it in the birth.

And as Pharaoh's cruelty was especially against the male children, so Satan's malice is especially against the most religious and manly resolutions.

But along with opposition, also expect victory. We can be boldly confident because,

The victory lies not with us, but with Christ, who has taken on him both to conquer for us and to conquer in us.

The victory lies neither in our own strength to get it, nor in our enemies' strength to defeat it.

We don’t have to stare only at the enemy and his threats, but we gaze on our Captain and his promises.

We have more for us than against us.

What coward would not fight when he is sure of victory? None is here overcome but he that will not fight.

When Satan taunts us, “You’re a great sinner,”
        we reply, “Christ is a strong Savior.”

When he says, “Your faith is weak, as is your love,”
        we say, “Yet I have a spark of faith, a spark of love.”

“But Christ won’t regard that,”
        “Christ won’t quench a smoldering wick.”

“Oh, that light is so dim; it will soon vanish,”       
        “Christ will tend it, until he brings me total victory.”

What confusion this brings to Satan, that he can’t blow out a tiny little spark, that a tiny mustard seed is stronger than his gates of hell.

Abimelech could not endure that it should be said, `A woman slew him' (Judg. 9:54); and it must needs be a torment to Satan that a weak child, a woman, a decrepit old man should, by a spirit of faith, put him to flight.

So instead of despising our small strength, we can treasure Christ’s great strength in us and for us. For even in the midst of opposition, “if we strive, he will help us. If we fail, he will cherish us. If we are guided by him, we shall overcome. If we overcome, we are sure to be crowned.”

We are never alone in the battle. Though we are only a bruised reed, we will prevail.

Let us then Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD,” Exodus 14:13.

* * *

Thanks to those who’ve been reading together and sharing insights at Tim Challies and on their own blogs.

It’s made a huge difference in my understanding of this Puritan classic which, after all these centuries, arrived at just the time I needed it. God’s timing is always perfect.

Tim will announce the next classic soon. Stay tuned!

Comments from reading group
Previous chapter reviews


Becky@ Daily On My Way To Heaven said...

Lisa, How much I have enjoyed reading this book with you guys! I loved to come and look at your summaries so well structured!

Thank you, and yes, I am also looking forward to read the next classic along with you!

Another Bruised Reed.

Kevin Sorensen said...


Well done. Good summary of the final chapter. This has been a wonderfully challenging book, in so many ways. May God bless it to each of us who read it. Thank you for the encouragement. May your heart be lifted up to our Loving Lord who will not snuff us out or break us down.

Audrey said...

Again enjoyed reading your summary Lisa. Love the picture you used at the beginning of your post! Great illustration of the battle we're in. Since “there can be no victory where there is no combat.” I'm grateful for a merciful, gracious Savior who is steadfast, immovable.


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