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Tag Archives: waiting for answers

The Fortification of Faith

Peace has always been temporary throughout the course of history.  Subsequently, cities created ramparts, defensive walls to protect their citizens from potential enemies.  Thus, the only way to enter certain regions was through gates, strategically located around city walls.  Although this fortification system was not perfect, gate keepers could warn city officials if aggressors were approaching on the horizon.

During the Roman Empire, soldiers were responsible for defending a 6 feet by 6 feet area, to prevent attackers from breaking the line of defense.  At their disposal, these men possessed a large shield coated with a non-flammable liquid which extinguished flaming arrows shot by enemy troops.  The apostle Paul compared this weapon to a shield of faith, Ephesians 6:16.  When overwhelmed by incoming fire, a solider could entrench themselves under this shield until help arrived.

Unfortunately, faith can be a mystery, especially if your prayers aren’t answered or help never comes.  According to 1 Peter 5:8, the devil uses discouragement to lure depressed souls away from church.  If depression leads to disenchantment, doubting the existence of God,  the fortification of faith can be destroyed, Hebrews 10:26-27.  In this age of suffering, its important to arm yourself with the right weapons, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  Despite where you are on the spectrum of faith, its time to fortify yourself with the armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18.

What advice can you share to help anyone currently struggling with their faith.  People are waiting for your suggestions.

by Jay Mankus

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A Prayer for the Bullied

Regardless of how big, strong or tall you are, one day you will face your match, being the David against a Goliath bully.  In the Back to the Future movie series, George Mcfly faced a life long battle with Biff, never having the courage to stand his ground until he came face to his with his own son Marty.  Going back to his father’s high school years, Marty played by Michael J. Fox, tries to break his father of this submissive trait.  Finally, George becomes enraged by Biff’s mistreatment of Jennifer Parker, filling his fist with supernatural strength, knocking out this bully with one powerful left hand hook to the face.

Unfortunately, this Hollywood ending is not reality for the countless of Americans daily facing bullies at their school, in the neighborhood or at their place of occupation.  Although bullies are conceived during childhood, they don’t magically disappear when you become an adult.  Power, pride and selfish greed inspires an older, less obvious and wiser type of bully.  Seeking and seizing control of others, individuals usually use their status, title and ego to boss around people low on the totem pole.  Subsequently, year and year goes by without upper management ever noticing or seeing this harsh behavior.

Based upon the words of Psalm 10, David appears to have been bullied prior to his rise to power as King of Israel.  His words describe how anyone who has faced bullying feels: helpless, weak and alone.  The youngest in his family, this scrawny boy was a mere shepherd, an insignificant member of his household.  During these days alone, an outcast in the fields, David began to communicate with God through prayer.  Psalm 10 depicts a long period of unanswered prayers from verse 1-13.  However, in the end, God answered David with a prayer for the bullied, “You hear O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more!” – Psalm 10:16-17

by Jay Mankus

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