Put On The ‘Full Armor Of God’ For Hope
by Todd Shupe
We all experience times in our lives in which we feel hopeless. For some, these periods linger into years and years. Given these circumstances, I would like to equip readers with some thoughts on how to maintain hope when all hope appears to be gone. In this article, you’ll find some thoughts on the importance of hope in your life. For your consideration, Job was a strong disciple of God, but had all of his possessions taken. He expressed hopelessness in Job 17:15, saying “Where then is my hope — who can see any hope for me?”
I have heard it said before that the most dangerous man is one without hope. He feels he has nothing to lose and no future. I have seen the look in someone’s face when there is no hope. I have seen this in hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, hospice facilities and even in church.
One of the greatest goals of the enemy is to convince you that you have no hope and that God has forgotten you and you have no future. I recently heard on a Christian radio station, “If you do not believe in the promises of God, then by default you are believing in the lies of the enemy.” Carefully read the following premise: You must know that you are a beloved child of God that is very precious in his sight. He desires you to seek Him and for you to be happy. He will walk with you always and never leave you. All of your sins have been paid by the blood of Jesus.
The enemy appeared in the Garden of Eden with the same goal as today – divide, destroy, and deceive. The relentlessness enemy wants to rob you of your hope and joy.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything to stand,” Ephesians 6:11-13.
Ephesians 6 goes on to explain how to fight the enemy.
The Belt (of Truth): “Stand firm in the belt of truth buckled around your waist,” Ephesians 6:14. The belt of truth involves our hearts and our minds. Truth keeps us close to Christ and is essential in the Christian walk. The belt of truth holds our amour in place. Commit yourself daily to be in the Word. “Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth!” Psalm 86:11.
The Breastplate (of Righteousness): With the breastplate of righteousness in place,” Ephesians 6:14, a soldier with a breastplate goes into battle boldly with confidence. The enemy is constantly attacking with lies to steal our hope. Without the breastplate of righteousness, these will penetrate your heart. Become aware of who you are in Christ Jesus. Come boldly into His presence, (Hebrews 4:16).
The Shield (of Faith): “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. The shield not only defends our whole body, but also our armor. The shield of faith has a very specific function: To stop all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The Helmet (of Salvation): “Take the helmet of salvation,” Ephesians 6:17. Satan’s target: Your mind. Satan’s weapon: Lies. The enemy wants to make us doubt God and our salvation. The helmet protects our minds from doubting the truth of God’s saving work for us. Our mind is the battle ground. “Since we belong to the day, we must be serious and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a Helmet of the Hope of Salvation,” 1 Thessalonians 5:8.
The Sword (of The Spirit): Put on “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:17. The sword of the Spirit is the only weapon of offense in the armor, but the Word is also a tool for defense. Lies and deception are all weapons the enemy uses against us. With the Sword of the Spirit, God’s word, the people are equipped to deal with them all. We need to trust in the truth of the Word.
It is so important that you begin each day with hope. Romans 5:3-4 tells us, “we know that suffering produces perseverance; and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” So if you feel that there is no hope in your situation, be patient and realize that you will develop perseverance, then character, and finally hope. It is a promise from God. Be blessed!
About the Author:
Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and wood science. Shupe worked as a professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the Secretary of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, Database Coordinator for Gulf South Men, and volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, Iron Sharpens Iron, Open Air Ministries, HOPE Ministries food pantry. Todd is currently preparing to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men.