This morning Stephen showed us a clip from the film ‘Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone’ where the three main protagonists (Harry, Ron & Hermione) take part in a game of chess.

Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone chess scene

We may sometimes feel that life is like a game of chess and may even feel that we are just pawns in this game of life. Sometimes we feel forced into situations we would not have chosen for ourselves; life can often seem arbitrary or unfair to us. At times, we have many unanswered questions about what happens in life, especially when illness or tragedy or disasters hit us. Often, we feel that we are going through difficulties whilst those who do not know God have it easy! (see Psalm 73). But there is more to life than we can see and whilst God may allow Satan to do certain things (see Job 1), He is always in control of life. God gives us the opportunity to cooperate with His plans and in doing so, we have the opportunity to participate in something far more significant than our own schemes and plans.

Job’s life seemed to go from bad to worse (see Job 1:13-19 TNIV). However, God was still in control, even during his suffering. Jesus knew that the devil (‘the prince of this world’) would cause him trouble, but he reminded His disciples ‘he has no hold over me.’ (John 14:30 TNIV) God is working in our lives at all times and has dealt Satan the fatal blow through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Rom 16:20 TNIV reminds us that the God of peace will soon crush Satan under our feet. There is an end to the chess game of life in sight and God’s victory is certain. It’s almost like two sides of a coin. On one side, there is earthly suffering and trouble, but on the other is heavenly joy and satisfaction. We need to place our total trust in God’s justice, mercy and love and understand that our struggle is not against flesh and blood EEph 6:12 TNIV). Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20 TNIV) and God is here with us through every struggle, trial and temptation to lead us into victory.