Did you ever get a glimpse of something small and instinctively know that it was part of something really deep, really big...like the corner of a treasure box? Your shovel hits something hard, something solid, and you know you have to keep digging? That happened to me yesterday.
Now, before distant relatives start coming out of the woodwork, let me clarify that the treasure I found is not made of jewels and gemstones. Much more valuable than that, and I would be thrilled to share it with you.
I was getting ready for church yesterday, enjoying a cup of coffee in the warm early spring morning, when my Bible beckoned me from the table. Seriously. It was like "Come read 1 Peter." Ok...
I'll be honest and tell you, I usually skim over the opening of each new book, the part with the greetings to people I don't know anyway, but yesterday my eye lingered on the word exiles of the Dispersion. For whatever reason, these people were cast out of their normal surroundings. They were exiles, not welcome back in their home countries. Ever feel like that? Maybe not physically exiled from your home, but like things just weren't right? Peter continued to encourage them with the hope they have in Christ, then in verse 5, my shovel hit something solid..."you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." He goes on to encourage them in their suffering, so that the genuineness of their faith, which is being tested, will result in praise for Jesus Christ.
Being protected by the power of God through faith got me thinking. Faith has been given to me through the power of God for protection. I had never thought about it that way. Today, I flipped to Ephesians 6, the whole armor of God section. We have on our belt of truth, our breastplate of righteous, our sturdy shoes for duty, and then, check this out: v.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. That is some serious protection, standing behind my shield of faith to thwart the assaults of the devil. How plain and clear, but at the same time, how valuable. I fight the enemy through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Not by trying harder, not by trying to say just the right thing (but there is value in prudence, I know), but by faith. The song In Christ Alone just started playing in the background of my brain.
Maybe this is something you all already knew, and I am just seeing it in a new light. The Word is so living and active. I feel like I have been given another weapon in my arsenal. Not only does He give us the means, through faith, to be protected, but through faith, we are given an opportunity to see Jesus at work and another reason to share His goodness. The word faith gets tossed around so casually when the intent of it runs so deep. Definitely more to ponder on and dig for, that's for sure.