I haven’t blogged much lately, and hope to get back in a more regular habit of doing so. I thought I’d try doing some further reflections on the sermon topic from time to time. Let me know what you think.
Yesterday’s sermon was about dealing with difficult situations that are out of our control. Here’s part of the reading from Ephesians 6:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 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. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 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. 19 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, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains.
So, I invite you to reflect, as part of your personal meditations this week, about difficult situations in which you may find yourself from time to time: an illness that comes out of nowhere; a once happy relationship that has turned sour; a work or school setting that seems overwhelming or difficult to handle. How are you able, or how do you wish to be able, to draw strength from God? It is interesting that the writer of this letter to the little church at Ephesus does not tell them that bad things won’t happen (he’s writing the letter from prison!). His encouragement is to help them guard their true, inner selves, the part that God holds so tenderly, from being crushed.
How does that happen? We are protected by God through:
Truth, always relying on the things that really matter;
Righteousness, doing what is right no matter what;
Peace, living peaceably with others, and experiencing God’s peace in our
Faith and salvation, trusting that God holds you and cares about you;
The word of God, reaching out for the eternal promise that God will never
let you go.
May you, in times of difficulty, draw strength from the protection of God.
© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2009