“My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.”
We have all had days like this. In our lack of hope, we find ourselves echoing David’s cry in many of the Psalms where he exclaims, “my enemies have surrounded me!” When we fail to properly equip ourselves to handle the daily battles of our life, we will fail in the battle and lose hope.
There are certainly days when our battles seem very personal and physically directed, but Paul warns us in Ephesians 6:10-20 that these daily battles are spiritual. They are a battle of the soul. He uses battle imagery to teach us how we are to prepare for the fiery darts of the evil one; we are to put on the whole armor of God. These physical pieces of armor represent spiritual steps of preparation that we must utilize in our life. As we internalize these pieces, we are choosing to embrace certain beliefs. We are preparing our mind to dwell upon and draw upon truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, our salvation, and the power of the Word of God.
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:13
In the Greek, this gives us the picture of “girding up the loins of your mind.” Again, using battle imagery, we are given an active command that requires us to purpose our thoughts, hopes, and beliefs to the outworking of our faith. Looking at the previous verses in the chapter, we see great truths about God’s great mercy, our living hope that we have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our guarded inheritance that will never fade, the purpose of trials in our life, and the greatness of our salvation. Because of all of what God has done, through Jesus Christ, we are to “set our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is through this preparation of our mind, the soberness of our thoughts, and the focus of hope in Christ, that we live out God’s truth in our lives.
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
1 Peter 1:14-16; 22-23
Ephesians 4:17-20 teaches us that without Christ, we were futile in our thinking, darkened in our understanding, and ignorant. At the time of our salvation, we are given a new spiritual life (2 Corinthians 5:17). As a new person, we are to put away the actions that once revealed our sinful thought patterns. With the Spirit of God residing in us and working through us, we will see the fruits of that Spirit in our lives. This radical change happens when we follow the pattern laid out in Ephesians 4:22-24 and renew our minds with the truth of His Word. Our obedience to the truth purifies our souls and empowers us to live holy lives. Psalm 119:9 tells us that we find our cleansing by taking heed to the Word of God.
The Christian life is full of spiritual battles. Don’t lose hope. Remember what the Lord has done for you. Be sober. Prepare your minds for action. Apply the truth of God’s Word to your life, so that you may live holy, fear God, and love one another earnestly.