“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16).
What can help you overcome discouragement, fear, doubt, and a host of other disabling emotions that can often leave us devastated and destroy our effectiveness as Christians? The answer is the fourth piece of spiritual armor which Paul presents in Ephesians chapter six.
The metaphor comes from Roman military life. The purpose of the shield was to protect the Roman soldier from the spears and arrows thrown by the enemy. Paul recognizes that what the shield was to the Roman soldier, the shield of faith is to the Christian warrior.
We take up the “shield of faith” by quoting the truth of God’s Word whenever we recognize Satan’s lies. When the enemy tells us that God has forsaken us, we can take up the shield of faith by quoting and believing the truth of God’s Word that says, “… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
When the enemy tells us that no good will come from a particular situation, we can take up the shield of faith by quoting and believing the truth of God’s Word that says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
When we feel inadequate for a work that God is clearly calling us to do, we take up the shield of faith by quoting and believing Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
The object of our faith is three-fold. First, our faith is in God’s Person. In Psalm 3:3, David said,
“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me…” There are more than a dozen other references in the Psalms that testify that God Himself is our shield. The infinite power of the Godhead is our defense.
Second, our faith is in God’s Providence (Romans 8:28). No matter what happens, we need to understand two facts. The first is that God is good (Psalm 33:5). It’s easy to acknowledge that when everything is going well; but even when things don’t go according to our plans, we need to remember that God is still good because God doesn’t change (Hebrews 13:8)! The second fact is that God is still in control, because God is sovereign (Psalm 99:1). Nothing takes God by surprise and nothing happens apart from His permissive will.
Third, our faith is in God’s Promises. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We can place our full confidence in the promises of God’s Word. Joshua 21:45 says, “There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.”
When the fiery darts of fear, discouragement and doubt come your way today – don’t be passive, but actively take up the shield of faith as your defense.
Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries