The armour of faith – Part 1
In Ephesians chapters 4-6, Paul reminds us that the Christian is involved in relentless warfare with an unseen enemy. The warfare requires preparations and a certain battle attire, called the armour of God. Only by putting on this armour can we be strong in the Lord and be able to fight the enemy. Then, in Ephesians 6:10-19, he uses the analogy of the armour worn by Roman soldiers to describe the believer’s spiritual defence. He uses the word “put on” to impress on his readers the importance of this armour. Twice, in verses 11 and 13, he used the phrase, “the whole armour of God” to underscore the nature of the armour and the fact that the armour must be complete.
Then in verse 16, he emphasised on “the shield of faith.” He writes, “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:16 NKJV). The word “above all” explains the primacy of faith and that faith is very strategic in spiritual warfare. Our emphasis in this edition is on the importance of faith.
Faith’s testimony is that it can overcome challenges. Faith is a gift and virtue God has given to believers to fight the fierce battles of life. John captures it well this way, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (I John 5:4 NKJV). No matter what difficulties and trials we face in life, faith in God can conquer and subdue them. Faith comes at a price. Its price may be persecution, tribulation, suffering or denial of benefits and rights. One might have to die as Stephen did. Eventually, persevering faith will triumph over difficulties.
When one reads about the encounter of Shedrack, Meshack and Abednego with King Nebuchadnezzar, one cannot but be challenged by their heroism and faith. The same goes for the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. It also teaches us about the doggedness of faith over persecutions, jealousy and hatred. Peter’s encounter in prison, with King Herod and the intervention of the angel of God, found in Acts 12 is another example of the triumph of faith over the vicissitudes and challenges of ministry. The story of Paul and Silas in jail is another example of the triumph of faith and courage. All these stories teach us that faith often comes at a price.
If faith can triumph over difficulties, then it can triumph over COVID-19. This does not mean we ignore the social precautionary measures being advocated. It would appear that Job did not have persevering faith during his trials. But his words in chapter 13:15 showed the ruggedness of his trust in God. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him” (Job 13:15 NKJV).
An examination of the nature faith shows that faith has certain qualities. Faith perseveres. Read Hebrews 11 and see the exploits of the heroes and heroines of faith. They persevered through trials. Faith endures trials. The word endurance is at times used interchangeably with perseverance in the Bible. Hebrews 12:35-36 says,
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” May we not relent in trusting God, even in this time of COVID-19. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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