Peace In The Struggle: How to Fortify For Battle

Do you ever experience something and think “It’s not supposed to be this way!”? 

Parents should not outlive their kids.

The church should not be the source of pain.

Hard work should not be rewarded with failure.

And yet, we live in a fallen world. Paul warned us.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:10-12, ESV

What does it mean to be strong, put on the armor of God, and stand against an unseen enemy?

Spoiler alert: I do not have the perfect answer. 

Paul uses the word “wrestle” (other translations say “struggle”). He does not say defeat or conquer. I get a sense that Paul knew our hard situations would be followed by some more hard situations. Our battle in this world is not a “one and done” fight. We will wrestle as long as we are here.

Fortify Yourself with Jesus

We know that Jesus is the conqueror. He has overcome all the hard, but while we are here on this earth, we will continue to wrestle. Maybe you are in a season of wrestling right now. If you aren’t, I am sure you will be in the future. These are hard seasons.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33, ESV

Even in the hard seasons, we can know that Jesus has already won the battle. He provides a way for us to find peace, even when things aren’t supposed to be this way.

Fortify Yourself with the Armor of God

He also equips us. While we will probably not be perfect in our battle plans, He provides us the tools. While we continue to battle, we know that God is working all things for His good purposes (see Romans 8:28). He equips us, if we are willing to pick up the tools He provides and put on the armor He has created.

So, let us take heart by putting on this armor (see Ephesians 6:10-18):

  • Know truth. 
  • Put on Christ’s righteousness.
  • Walk in the gospel of peace.
  • Lean into your faith.
  • Trust in your salvation.
  • Live out the word of God.

Finally, let us live a life of intentionality and prayer.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:18, ESV

In the wrestling, He promises us peace. While I may not know the perfect way to be strong, I know the armor of God. I have the tools to battle the unseen enemy. While I may not conquer all of the hard things everyday, I can take heart because I know the One who can!

Image painted by Tyra Harnishfeger with Let’s Make Art watercolor tutorial.





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