I released a devotional book today on the Armor of God, titled “Armor of Light: A 7 – Week Devotional on Ephesians 6:10-18.” I wanted to share this excerpt with you from week four about holding up our shield of faith.
Shield of Faith
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Do you feel like you’re constantly under attack? Are you worn down fighting the good fight of faith? Many times I’ve cried out to God, “I can’t take this anymore! Please rescue me!” At times I’ve felt I didn’t have any faith left to press on.
In the Bible, Paul and Timothy’s attacks were at times more than they could bear. Paul explained:
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death …
—2 Corinthians 1:8-9a
If God wants us to have faith, why does He allow the devil to attack us and beat us down? Why does He allow us to face persecution? After Paul talked about their hardship, he explained why God allowed it in 2 Corinthians 1:9b-10:
But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.
We have a choice to make during our hardships. We can let the fiery darts Satan hurls at us beat us down and weaken our faith. Or we can pick up our shield and let the darts fall to the ground while we stand firm in our faith.
Each trial is an opportunity for our faith to grow and God to move in a supernatural way. When our faith is in God, He can do: “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
Faith is not convincing God to move on our behalf. Faith is opening our hearts to receive what God’s already promised us. Faith keeps us trusting God to do what is best for us. Faith keeps us expecting the unexpected.
In Lamentations 3:1-20, Jeremiah started losing hope as he focused on his trials. In verse 20 he cried, “I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.” Then he made a sudden turn in verse 21, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” Jeremiah started talking about God’s mercy, compassion, and love. As he got his mind off his troubles, and started thinking about God’s faithfulness, it lifted him out of his pit of despair.
The greatest thing we can do to strengthen our faith is to praise God. Praising God throughout our day keeps us looking expectantly to Him. Praising God keeps us focused on Him and not our problems. When our hearts are filled with praise, our shield is up and no trial, tribulation or persecution can weaken our faith.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
—1 Peter 1:6-7
*The “Armor of Light” is available in Paperback and Ebook at Amazon. It will be released on audio format in May. As a special for all my blog readers, enter coupon code GQ5M59M5 at this link at Createspace and receive $3.00 off the paperback version!