16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;In the book "Pilgrim's Progress" John Bunyan writes an allegory of a Christian's journey, following the character Christian through many adventures as he seeks the Kingdom of Heaven. Here was one scene that struck me. Within it, Christian meets Apollyon (the destroyer) who intends to tempt him back to his kingdom and away from the kingdom of Heaven. I love his response and long and pray that I (and you all) may be able to answer Satan in times of these.
Apollyon: Thou hast already been unfaithful in thy service to him [God], and how dost thou think to receive wages of him?All this reminded me of the second verse of Before the Throne of God Above -
Christian: Wherein, O Apollyon, have I been unfaithful to him?
Apollyon: Thou didst faint at first setting out, when thou wast almost choked in the Gulf of the Despond. thou didst attempt wrong ways to be rid of thy burden [of guilt], whereas thou shouldest have stayed till thy Prince had taken it off. Thou didst sinfully sleep, and lose thy choice thing: thou wast also almost persuaded to go back at the sight of the lions; and when thou talkest of thy journey, and of what thou hast heard and seen, thou art inwardly desirous of vainglory in all that thou sayest or doest.
Christian: All this is true, and much more, which thou hast left out; but the Prince whom I serve and honour is merciful and ready to forgive: but besides, these infirmities possessed me in thy country, for there I sucked them in, and I have groaned under them, been sorry for them, and have obtained pardon of my Prince.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.