BATTERED ARMOUR

by Kraig Josiah Rice

          This is a leaflet tract encouraging every Christian who is undergoing the trying of his faith in an extended duration trial or Job's Trial. I'm not just "blowing smoke" in the writing of this tract- I actually went through such a trial- it lasted a little over 9 years and I nearly lost everything that I had. If you are in one of these trials feel fortunate that you have been hand picked by the God of this Universe to suffer for Him. You may not have much left but your integrity but (in the big picture) this is all that God requires of you...
I wouldn't give a million dollars for my experiences but I wouldn't want to go through it again. It is important to recognize this trial as a Job's trial because then you can take it as a challenge.

          There are different kinds of trials that come upon believers. The most severe may last several years and it is not uncommon to have periods where you feel depressed, discouraged, lonely, unloved, suffer pain and agony, have little or no money, have feelings of worthlessness, lose your joy and your friends, and question whether or not life is worth living. To commit suicide is the same as to throw up the white flag of surrender and let the enemy do with you as he wills. Remember, that it is your integrity that is being tested.

          You may have a tendency to blame yourself and be hard on yourself and others but do not do it because you are in circumstances beyond your control. It may be as if everything around you dies and as if there is a ceiling of brass over your head that your prayers bounce off of. The scripture refers to this, "...though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ"
(1 Peter 1:6 & 7).

          Maybe you have lost your job, your ministry, your family, a loved one, or someone close to you. Maybe your body has been afflicted, you have had your house catch fire and been evicted, or maybe other trying circumstances have come your way. When these things happen to you know that Satan is battering your armour and that you may be in a severe trial of your faith.

          The Bible says, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil"
(Ephesians 6:11).

          This armour is described as "having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints"
(Ephesians 6:13--18).

          Is Satan attacking you? Is your armour warding off his blows but getting battered? These blows from Satan come to every believer in the form of trials, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing"
(James 1:2-4).

          There may be no one who can help you significantly in your trial and chances are your integrity is being tested to see if you love God for who He is.

Here is a poem entitled LESSONS IN THE VALLEY
[by an unknown author]

"I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain,
But the God of all comfort was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.

As earth needs the clouds and the sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace
The dross from gold to destroy.

When He leads through some valley of trouble,
His omnipotent hand we may trace,
For the trials and sorrows He sends us
Are part of His lessons in grace.

Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring
The richer the cluster that grows.

Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view;
But in the dark valley He whispers,
"Later on thou wilt know what I do."

As we travel through life's shadowed valley
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses
Are blessings He sends in disguise.

So we follow wherever He leadeth;
Let the pathway be dreary or bright;
For we prove that our God can give comfort,
Our God can give songs in the night."

          Satan may have been allowed to afflict you. If so, just keep on keeping on. You will not be allowed to be tested more than what you can bear
(1 Corinthians 10:13) and God will prove his love and faithfulness to you to provide all your needs (not your wants) as you learn the secret of living one day at a time keeping your integrity and resisting Satan. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal"
(2 Corinthians 4:17 & 18).

          "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him"
(James 1:12).

          An interesting scripture is found in the Old Testament in
2 Chronicles 32:31, "howbeit...God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart."

          God will never leave you or forsake you. He is always there in your time of need regardless of the frustration you feel and fear you fight. God has not stopped loving you but you must persevere. Jesus suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and alone on the cross. He knows what you are going through and the fact that you are sharing in the fellowship of his sufferings. God walks with you through the valley. The valley has an end to it and you will not be in these circumstances forever. Just as "the Lord turned the captivity of Job" so also in God's timing will your captivity be turned and he will reward you if you remain true and faithful to him.

          God's ways are different from man's ways: in order to be the greatest you must be the servant, in order to be strong you must be weak, in order to receive you must give, and in order to live you must die (to yourself). In this life on this earth you must be willing to "die-out" to the love of the world, the flesh, and the devil and love Jesus with all your heart, soul, and strength.

          A trial activates the death principle through circumstances, but remember, without death there can be no resurrection. Jesus taught this spiritual principle when He said, "The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone- a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels- a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who despise their life in this world will keep it for eternal life".
(John 12:24-26) (NLT).

          The blows from Satan's sword of destruction are coming fast and hard as his sword clashes against the Sword of the Spirit held in your grip. Satan's battle axe is crashing off your helmet of salvation but your mind of Christ is protected. Your shield of faith may be so smashed and dented from the blows being delivered against it that you may wonder how it can ever survive the onslaught. Your breastplate of righteousness protects you from a well aimed spear of destruction aimed at your heart. But God's armour for you holds when backed by your integrity. And although your armour may be battered by Satan I want you to know for sure that, God willing, your life will be spared and your armour will hold because you are protected by God.

          You must have the will to fight back if you are going to conquor. So hang in there with faith and endure as a good soldier of the cross with determination and integrity.
"Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."
(James 5:8).

          Your affliction is but for a short time, and later God will restore unto you with abundance what the canker worm hath eaten away through the years of trial.

          "0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."
(Romans 11:33-36).

          If you are a believer insert your name in the following blank spaces in application of the promises of God to comfort you:
________________, Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9).
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee,
________________, and he that formed thee,
_______________, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
When thou passest through the waters, _________________, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:
________________, when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
________________, For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour. (Isaiah 43:1-3).

Also please read Psalms 91.

          If you have not yet chosen Jesus Christ as your personal saviour and are going through hard times in your life right now perhaps God is using these difficulties to draw you to himself. God loves you and wants to help you through your hard times. God wants to deliver you from fear and torment. If you will give Him your entire heart He will set you entirely free. This is how to accept him:
(1) realize you are a sinner,
(2) know that Jesus Christ is the only one who can save you,
(3) be sorry for your sins and cast yourself upon His mercy and grace, and
(4) repent of your sins and ask Jesus Christ to come and live in your heart. He will forgive you of your sins, comfort you, come to live in your heart, and give you a new heart.
Please make this decision now for NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.


links

Encouragement For Suffering

Overcoming Discouragement

Don't Stone the Devil's Dogs (Keep at your work for Christ)

"It's better to have lost a battle against Satan
than not to have fought at all"
- Kraig J. Rice

Kraig Josiah Rice
www.7-star-admiral.com


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since February 12, 2006