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I am encouraged

My Word for today is hope.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

"But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breast plate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation."

When I was reading this Scripture, the word hope really stood out for me. Often times, when we are going through a rough season in our lives, our minds may find it easy to forget the hope of our salvation that is in the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I appreciate Paul's reminder to us that the hope of salvation is a helmet. A helmet is a shield that protects the head and neck area of a human being against harm that would potentially result to fatal damage. This means that without hope, we are going to a battle unprepared as we lack the appropriate armour and victory is seldom promised.

The Apostle Paul in this case was not referencing a physical helmet but rather a spiritual one that is able to assist our minds and bring into captivity doubt, fear, weakness and anything that exalts itself above the knowledge and power of God working in our lives (2 Corinthians 10:4 ).

The Bible is full of stories of hope and Romans 15:4, the Apostle Paul tells us that "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."

One of my favourite Bible stories that gives me courage as it demonstrates faith and the hope of our salvation is the story of King Jehoshaphat found in 2 Chronicles 20. I encourage you all to read this beautiful story.

Herein, God personally fought the battle of His people against their enemies. The Word of the Lord came to the King saying;

"You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you." (2 Chronicles 20:17)

The Lord was faithful in His promise, as He defeated their enemies before their eyes while the people of Judah and Jerusalem sung songs of praise to Him that were thankful for His mercy.They literally did not have to engage in a fight against a single person.

This story encourages me of the grace and goodness of God. The number of times He has effortlessly saved me from battles through His Son Jesus Christ who cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13). I did not have to be caught up in a series of "works" for Him to pull me out of the pit of depression but only believe that God is faithful and His Word stands true.

In addition to your Bible reading, I invite you to reflect on some of the toughest times in your life. You may not have understood how you made it through them to where you are today but you did because of God's love and mercy.

May those previous times encourage you that God's character is consistent and if He was faithful then, He still is now. In addition, as a believer, Jesus left us with the Holy Spirit who is our daily comforter through every season of life (John 14:26).

I end with these encouraging words that the Lord gave Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:8 after his appointment as the new leader of Israel after the death of Moses who was initially assigned to led the Israelites to the promised land.

8. "And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed."

May the Almighty God continue to increase our faith, guard our hearts and minds with the helmet of the hope of salvation in Christ Jesus. Amen

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