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Whether you're in full-time ministry or you work a secular job, you deal with people who feel shot full of holes. They are depressed, angry and seemingly unable to function. Satan does a good job of hitting people where they are the weakest. Maybe this is you and you feel like a pincushion full of flaming arrows. As believers, we must learn the ways of protection that God has provided in His Word. Part of the ministry of Here Be Lions is to try and help believers follow God's word and learn His ways.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:5 "who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." Peter is attaching an implied "you" or "us" to those shielded by faith. This verse is talking about "you" and your faith. When Peter writes, "You who are protected by the power of God through faith," he is speaking to those awaiting the fulfillment of salvation through the return of Jesus Christ, but are still presently being protected by faith as they wait. When Jesus returns, we will have salvation in the fullest sense. But right now, there is war raging, and it takes faith that produces endurance and perseverance to stand in the face of trials and persecution.

Being a person who perseveres is more than just standing while the devil shoots fiery darts at you. Perseverance is working with God to stop the darts and protect from permanent damage through our faith in God. Making this work is a two-way street made up of God and us flowing together. Our part is to send our faith toward God and keep it aimed on Him. God's part is to send His power and provision to us. Our faith reaches out and meets God's power. When these two forces of faith and power meet, they spiritually combine and become a shield of safety and protection to us.

This shield is much like a bulletproof vest. When wearing this vest, a bullet can strike you; it can hurt or bruise you and may even knock you down, but it doesn't kill you. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the shield is a protection that stops trials or prevents pain from coming your way. To think this way sets you up for the devil to fool you and knock you out. The vest/shield doesn't keep you from pain or struggle but does keep you alive.

In the spirit world, it is much the same. When a believer speaks faith-words along with faith-actions and has a heart full of faith, God does His part by sending His mighty power. Our faith and His power mixed together become a shield of protection and strength to the believer. Verse 6 says, "for a little while, you have had to suffer various trials." This is part of living in the world, but we are not of this world, so we have an advantage, a spiritual way of protecting ourselves with a supernatural shield brought about by faith and power.

Verse 7 expresses that these trials will reveal the great worth and genuineness of your faith: "your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tried by fire." Is your faith worth more than gold to you? Remember that the righteous live by faith. Our connection to Jesus, the source of life, is in our trusting and knowing Him.

How great and genuine is your faith? Are you just tossing up a prayer here and there, hoping God does something or other? Or do you know beyond doubt that God's will and plan for you is only good? Do you trust unequivocally that His Word is absolutely true and He is totally faithful to it? Is your trust in His integrity so firm that it ascends up toward heaven and is seen and brings the kingdom and power of God to earth, working in your behalf?

We all fall short sometimes, but now is the time, and today is the day to really begin to stretch yourself. Let your faith in the Lord become like a steel rod in your back that causes you to stand strong in the face of all the enemies opposition and the wearing trials of the world.

The Word of God promises those who believe, that when their faith has proved genuine by standing the test and persevering, the result will be praise, glory and honor to Jesus Christ and a strong shield of faith and power in your life today.

Reprinted with permission from Dustin Smith Ministries: Here Be Lions. Diana Trout, with her husband, Tom, has over 30 years of experience pastoring churches. They both serve local churches by traveling as a part of Dustin Smith Ministries, teaching and speaking all over the nation. 
 
This article originally appeared at herebelions.org.

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