August 27, 2019

Sad days . . .

Yesterday was tough. It started well with communication from someone I’ve not talked with for many years. Then a family member called to say another is gravely ill. She had a rare medical ‘event’ that usually causes death. The caller asked for prayer. I’m praying but also waiting for that next call.

Besides that, a friend’s family is having severe problems. I prayed with her and am praying, but this is also a heaviness. Another issue is a problem with a person . . . except that this passage from Ephesians tells me the real source of the problem, and evil is not about people:

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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10–20)

Spiritual warfare is not a popular sermon topic. It is not usually part of conversation in Bible studies and small fellowship groups. However, it has become very real in my life. The more I pray, the more the devil shows how much he does not want me to pray.

His schemes are many and often subtle. He distracts me with aches and pains, fatigue, busy-work, and emotional reactions to bad news, good news and all sorts of distresses. He might use other people too, but they are not the source. I’m not quick to pray when life gets heavy. I realize this is to be learned and makes me wonder if my faith has flaws. I’m not certain, yet it seems if I genuinely trust God then I would go to Him immediately when trouble comes. The same is true about instant praise when things are good.

Jesus, I read these verses and found myself filled with joy because I believe them . . .

“Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:22–24)

 . . . and yet today I’m feeling tested on that belief. I need to put on my armor, take up those amazing weapons You gave me, and persevere in prayer even though I just want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my face.

Today’s thankful list . . .
No news is good news.
The sun is shining.
The peaches still taste wonderful.
I hooked up an Amazon Fire stick tonight and it works (to watch on my old TV)
My hubby is a great comforter.
You love me all the time.

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