Holding onto HOPE - Stepping out in Faith
By now, I think most of us have come to realize that our circumstances are not going to change or at least not in the way we had hoped with the coming of the new year.
COVID 19 will still be here, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, depression, PTSD, cancer, autism, dyslexia, and a whole host of other disorders, issues, ailments, and heartaches will still be here.
The wonderful news is that, despite what seems like unchanging circumstances, God is ever so slowly working small miracles in our lives everyday and His love and plan for our lives never changes. In fact, it is the one constant in our life. He guaranteed it over 2000 years ago.
And, Paul reminds us that when we put on God’s armor we can withstand “the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
Ephesians 6: 10-20 happens to be my favorite place in the Bible. It is the place where I find the most peace because it reminds me that sometimes there are issues and circumstances that are outside of my control; therefore, I must surround myself with the one who is always in control. And, when I can remember to do that my life is more peaceful and contented.
Over this past month, I have been cleaning up my armor. I took time to repair some of the dents, scrub off the rust, adjusted a few straps, and oiled all of the pieces, so that they shine. I am ready to suit up in all my armor as we head into 2021 and I hope that you will join me!
Paul encourages us to arm ourselves “with the belt of truth” (Ephesians 6:14). The truth that if we go into any battle unarmed we will grow tired faster and will most likely not survive. If we; however, arm ourselves with the tools and resources God provides us with then we can fight harder and sometimes longer, even sometimes conquering our greatest foes. Although, physically it seems the battle will never end, we know that at some point it does.
Our life given to God first, put into his hands keeps us together. It makes us stronger and brings peace and joy to all those who stand “in the strength of His power” (Ephesians 6:10).
I would like to encourage you to take the time over these last few days of 2020 to sit for a while with the words of Paul in Ephesians 6: 10-20:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.”
Then ask God these three questions:
Am I doing the work you have called me to do?
Am I using the tools and resources that you want me to, Lord?
What is it that I can do this year, to walk more closely with You and the life that you have planned for me?
Then strap on your helmet and grab hold of your sword and step forward knowing that you are doing the work that God has called you to do. And, if the work seems to heavy, your sword dulls or your helmet strap breaks, then simply step back behind your shield and spend a few moments in “prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:16). Then readjust and step out in faith!
Ya’ll have a beautiful day! Have an AMAZING New Year!
All My Love,
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