Put on hope

Ephesians 6: 17: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Friend, there’s something really special in these last pieces of our armor. 

Let’s start by going back to the Old Testament for a minute. Isaiah 59 contains a prophecy about our Redeemer, sent to man by God because He desired justice for mankind and yet there was no one great enough to intercede for us. Isaish 59:17 says, “He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head.” A breastplate and a helmet. This armor we’ve been studying so closely isn’t just called God’s armor because He’s given it to us. It’s called God’s armor because He wore it. He sent His Son into a battle so horrific that He needed covering. He needed His Father’s armor to hold up against Satan’s temptations, against crowds that threatened His sense of peace, and against the cruel, painful attacks of those who claimed to know His Father yet hated Him.

I imagine we’re all pretty familiar with helmets. We wear them around our neighborhoods, riding bikes and motorcycles. We wear them when participating in sports like skiing and ziplining. They sit over our heads, protecting our brain from serious injury that could happen when we engage in these activities. 

The brain is such an intricate piece of flesh, serving as the powerhouse for the body and controlling the very things that make us us. It’s worth protecting. And there’s also the mind – the part of our brain that holds our thoughts, understanding, and reasoning. If our brain is damaged and mind lost, it’s traumatic. Protecting our brain, in the physical sense of the word is so important. And I love that Paul reminds us of that by placing emphasis on a helmet for head protection. 

Setting physical safety aside, when we think about the importance of protecting our mind, we can equate the helmet with mental, emotional, and spiritual protection – a piece of armor shielding us from worldly passions and pursuits. Colossians 3:2 says we are to set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Protecting our minds mentally, emotionally, and spiritually is just as important as protecting our brain physically.

Digging even further…Like every other piece of armor, Paul uses a physical element to relate to the spiritual. Our helmet isn’t just a helmet. It’s a helmet of salvation. Why is that important? 2 Corinthians 10 reminds us that the battle we’re fighting isn’t a battle we’re using our hands for. “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.” The war around us is created by Satan and he likes playing allll the mind games. Sure, he’ll use circumstances to make us feel like the battle is physical, but it’s really in how we choose to react to those circumstances that indicate if we’re gonna stand firm or stumble. Our feelings are just feelings. They can’t think or make decisions. However, they can impact the decisions that we make in our minds. And that’s what we need to watch out for. 

I don’t think it’s easy to navigate emotions. In fact, it’s one of the things I least like doing and tend to put off as long as I can, but I realize that when I don’t face my emotions and understand why I have them, they start to impact my actions. They also start to impact my sense of peace and trust in God, and cause great anxiety.

I think that’s why Paul calls it the helmet of salvation. He knows our minds get heavy with so many cares and he knows emotions are harder to navigate the more Satan pushes and pulls. However, the great thing about grace is that once we’ve accepted God’s free gift and claimed salvation as our own, we have access to an unlimited amount of peace and hope. 

Ephesians 2:4-8: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

Nothing in this world compares to what awaits us on the other side. And that is why the helmet of salvation is so important. It’s the piece of armor that will constantly remind us of what we have in Christ. When we put the helmet on, we put on grace. We put on mercy. We put on hope. The hope we pull from when our mind is racing and anxiety is high; the hope we cling to when our circumstances feel out of our control, and the hope we share when the world around us is crumbling from death’s sting. 

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10: “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.”

Love you, friend. Be filled with hope today.

xx, k

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