4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.
7 He is not tafraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
Of late, I’ve truly felt pushed face down into the mud with Satan’s boot on the back of my neck. Mud up my nostrils, clogging my throat. When I have that perception of myself in my struggles – beaten down, working hard just to get a breath — I think of myself lifting my hand from that position and giving Satan the finger. It’s not an eloquent vision, nevertheless, I find it encouraging. There is a sense in which that is exactly what any of us with a pugnacious faith are doing when we don’t give in when we feel we are face down in the mud.
I’ve talked over the years with many friends who echo the disciples’ words from John 6 in the midst of their personal struggle.
67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
In that moment of face-in-the-mud struggle, those friends express that there is nowhere else to go. They choose faith as faith has chosen them.
I love the vision of me giving Satan the finger. It’s a satisfying use of something that is inappropriate to use anywhere else. He’s the one place I can appropriately aim my anger. Steven Curtis Chapman has a song, “Bring It On,” which seems a taunt at Satan that I’m not willing to make, yet I respect the sentiment. It reflects a pugnacious, fighting faith — not fighting God’s children but the one who seeks to destroy them.
How lovely that the end of Revelations gives us Satan’s sealed fate.
Rev. 20:10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
His doom is sure, and though he attacks us in this life, we hold firm to the knowledge of what is to come. And in so doing, we give him the finger.