Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Whole Armor of God, Part 12C

Today I continue my series of articles commenting on the concept and principles involved in the Armor of God, which the apostle Paul described in the New Testament. This is the topic of the Sunday school lesson I am currently teaching. This week I post part three of a three-part discussion on Ephesians 6:18.

The Armor of God – Pray. Watch. Persevere.


The word “Perseverance” means progressing under difficulty.

Does life seem hard for you? Consider what some of the great men of the Bible have said.

Eliphaz, “Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7).

Job, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).

Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage (Genesis 47:9).

God told Adam, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:17b-19).

Jesus, who is God in flesh, did not escape difficulty. Isaiah prophesied, “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:1-4).

We all encounter difficulty. What is important is to keep going even when all seems hopeless.

There is a God who rules over the universe. Mankind is the most important part of His creation, For He created Man in His own image. He gave His only begotten Son to die for all mankind and be the propitiation for their sins, yes, even yours! He loves each one of us individually.

With life so difficult we must rely on God to help us.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:23-25).

“This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. Come, ye children , hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all” (Psalms 34:6-19).

King David of Israel wrote, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid (Psalm 27:1)?

We must remember that it is not by our power and ability that things are accomplished but by God working in us, around us, and through us.

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