How To Quench Satan's Darts of Discouragement

If Satan fails in his fiery darts of temptation, he will seek to dismay and discourage the Christian with the spirit of fear. Faith alone can quench these fiery darts. These darts are held in the enemies' reserve. When temptations prove unsuccessful, he opens this quiver and sends a shower of these arrows to set the soul on fire. If he cannot carry a soul laughing to hell, he will endeavor to make him go mourning to heaven. We can be greatly encouraged when we see Satan hard put to use these arrows. The darts of Job were of this sort.

When God gave Satan leave to practice his skill, Satan did not use the golden apple of profit or pleasure, but sought to stir up unholy thoughts to defame God: “Curse God and die,” his wife said. This is a great disturbance in the imagination of a saint. Faith will not harbour unworthy thoughts of God in the heart. If your view of God is shaped by Scripture, it is impossible to have anything but holy and loyal thoughts of God. Satan seeks to encourage hard thoughts of God when His providence is hard to understand. Some have questioned God's justice because He does not judge speedily. Others have questioned His care and faithfulness in not providing better for His servants or in allowing their afflictions. Satan seeks for us to view God through these broken glasses.

Job quenched this dart: “You speak as a foolish woman.” What God takes from me is less than I owe Him, and what He leaves me is more than I deserve. Unbecoming thoughts or words about God are the product of a rash and hasty spirit. It is fitting for Christians to bless God in the saddest condition that can befall them. Faith finds mercy in the greatest affliction and in the saddest mixture of providence. Praise God for past mercies and it will not be long before you have a new song in your mouth for the present mercy.

William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour, 11:91-97, edited by Richard Rushing and republished in Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 2009, page 310.