Paul's letter to the Ephesians spoke of the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the shoes of the gospel of peace and the sword of the Spirit (Ep. 6:13-17). We have shown some trust and have been given some protection, now we must learn how to use it. We saw a vision of our eternal home but now it is just a memory: what is real are the gifts of this moment and we make them real by how we use them. In this series of lessons we are shown the full armor.
57. Mercy and Truth
Be kind to me, O God, and have mercy. My soul trusts You and I will find refuge in the shadow of your wings until my troubles are past. I will cry out to God most high, to You who do all things for me.
You will send me help and save me from those who cause my torment. So it will happen, God will send out his mercy and his truth.
My soul is among the lions, I even sleep among those who burn with violent passions. They are men whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongues are sharp swords.
But You are above all, O God, even above the heavens. May your glory shine down and cover the earth.
My enemies have set snares for me and my soul is heavily burdened because of their hatred. They have dug a pit to trap me but have fallen into it themselves. So it must be.
My heart is fixed, O Lord, my heart is sure. I will sing and give praise.
It is a glorious day.
Sing and make music.
I will wake up early, I will praise You, O Lord, to all who will listen.
I will sing to You wherever I go.
Your mercy is as big as the sky, and your truth fills it like the clouds.
All honor is yours, O God, above the heavens and throughout the earth.
What is strength? From where does it come? We have girded our loins to preserve what we have been given but we wonder if we have enough. We are surrounded by untrustworthy men who are relentless in their desire for destruction. They hate us and the truth we stand for and plot our demise and we must decide what to do. We know and believe that we are on a sure path that is beyond them but that does not make the fear go away and we wonder when the strength will come. We will learn something new every day but the time of instruction will give way to the time of making.
Day by day, year by year we continue in our walk of faith and our strength grows. We face many challenges, all the while knowing that our Father loves us and wants us to grow. If we donít waste it, there will be enough to win every battle no matter how desperate it might seem.
Our strength is the strength of the One who made us, it does not come from ourselves (Ps. 100:3). Here we have the belt of strength. Even when feeling the fear, even when our souls are heavily burdened we donít wonder to do. Their evil will destroy them, not us, and we will sing. With every word, with every breath we are given what God needs to keep his strength present and showing here on earth. We are his people, we are doing his will and we use his strength. What joy it is and what an honor to praise his name.