Courage, that elusive but powerful sedative, if we can find it. Phantoms and demons assail us, and we run to our Warrior Father for refuge and strength. He is fearless, and we must somehow become like him. We must stay close to him and draw on his strength, power, wisdom, and grace. There is no courage and strength to be found in the battle if we allow ourselves to become isolated. The enemy can pick us off if we get cut off from our commander; only Our God has the battle plan and the armament to win the war.
“Perfect love casts out fear.” The challenge for us is to acquire perfect love. Our Father has perfect love, and we have access to Our Father 24/7. Our fear of failure and fear of death have to flee in the light of Our Father’s great love. Death has been defeated, and we have been given the sure promise of eternal life. “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus Our Lord.”
So, we put on the breastplate of righteousness – faith and love. Knowing how much we are loved and cared for, we both trust and love Our Heavenly Father. Also, we love the children of God.
We put on the belt of truth – Christ Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; Jesus is our life.
We put on the hope of salvation as a helmet – through the simplicity of our faith in Christ, our eternal life is assured.
We shod our feet with the Gospel of peace – “being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access to this grace in which we stand.”
We take the shield of faith by which we can extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one – we now belong to Jesus and share in his name and inheritance.
We take up the sword of the Spirit, the spoken word of God – he will give us the wisdom, grace, and strength to fight every battle.
Finally, we pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers for the blessing of God’s children; we watch and pray continually.
Isaiah writes that no one who trusts in him will be put to shame; we will not be dismayed, disturbed, or make haste. We must learn to trust him in every test and trial. Troubles are sure to come, and our faith will be tested. Peter writes that the trial of our faith is more precious than gold and will produce praise, honor, and glory when we see Jesus. He also tells us not to be surprised when we find ourselves in fiery trials but to rejoice that we share in the sufferings of Christ, so that we may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. We have Christ’s promises to all the churches that we will be richly rewarded as we overcome – we will eat from the tree of life, we will receive new names, and we will sit with him on his throne. It is a noble war that we fight; let us set our hearts to overcome and fight along side our Savior and Lord for his glory and purposes.
~ Brad Heilhecker