Thank God for those triumphant and hope-filled words of Isaiah 59:19, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” We could not for a moment believe that the psalmist is thinking only of those grosser temptations of the enemy. Again and again through our life here below the tidal waves of the enemy will seek to engulf the soul. Here is the secret and truth of counteraction. The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against the enemy, for with the precious Paraclete of heaven dominating and ruling our spirits He will successfully counteract those certain and repeated attacks. He will adequately and wonderfully undergird us for the trials and burdens of life.
As the rising sun of the fresh morning dissolves the mists and paints its majestic hues on a virgin sky, so the blessed Comforter will arise with healing in His wings driving back the shadows and sighs of human care that would often crush and blind, and filling the soul with His cleansing glow. This is the life of holy counteraction.
Sorrow ofttimes invested with a seeming authority from the enemy appalls us, but straightway the Holy Spirit rebukes this untoward intrusion, filling the wounded and frightened spirit with a buoyancy and calm known only to those who have walked through the valley of the shadow and have learned this wonderful fact.
Many times the legitimate burdens of life darkened by the witchery of the enemy bear heavily in upon our souls. There seems to be no relief from the terrific pressure. Suddenly taking advantage of innate human weakness the enemy presses almost to the point of despair. As the Apostle Paul describes it from his own experience — “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (II Cor. 1:8). Then it is that into the soul there surges a tide of joy, and peace, and welling faith, and once again the enemy retreats, a chagrined and defeated foe.
Sometimes we face the rugged mountain of some mighty problem. The peak is clouded in the mists of uncertainty. There is no path to the right or left. Its bleak and dreary sides promise nothing but black and adamant hopelessness. Then it is the Holy Ghost leads one away to the secret place of prayer, and there on pinions of faith the soul is lifted high above the mist-bathed peak. Yonder in the luminous sunlight of His ineffable glory the problem flattens out against the landscape of human affairs as through the eyes of the Spirit one gains a holy perspective of that which is now beneath his feet. Once again he comes forth with a divinely wrought purpose and indomitable power to bore through the seemingly impossible and impassable mountain of difficulty. Again the Holy Ghost has counteracted the cares of life through the secret of His indwelling presence.
Problems, cares, and perplexities crowding into every avenue of human life threaten to unseat and overwhelm. But when the Holy Ghost fills the soul of the child of God He will with a divine versatility counteract each succeeding attack of the enemy. It is true the enemy is untiring in his efforts and will invent new ways and combinations of circumstances to discomfit the child of God, “but greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” Recently we sat at the table in a Christian home. The question of trials arose. One remarked that he thought the enemy had run the gauntlet of artful endeavor only to find new and ingenious ways in trials and burdens. But any doubts on our part as to the conquering and counteracting power of the Holy Ghost were readily dismissed as we gazed into that sweet yet strong countenance bearing the marks of holy fortitude and Christlike character.
Thus through the years of life’s pressures the Holy Ghost will, if given full place and power in the heart of man, counteract these inevitable burdens common to human experience. With a heart set upon the end of it all, conscious that each added conflict and triumph is but building a greater capacity for eternal enjoyment, faith cannot help but conquer. Thus when He has tried us He will bring us forth from the crucibles of human vicissitudes as pure gold.