Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

New hope (Part 2) – Day 9

New hope … when nothing makes sense

Bible text(s)

12For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.

Ephesians 6:12GNBOpen in Bible reader

4They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

2 Corinthians 4:4GNBOpen in Bible reader

19Listen! I have given you authority, so that you can walk on snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of the Enemy, and nothing will hurt you.

Luke 10:19GNBOpen in Bible reader

Children and Parents

1Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do. 2“Respect your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise added: 3“so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land.”

4Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, bring them up with Christian discipline and instruction.

Slaves and Masters

5Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling; and do it with a sincere heart, as though you were serving Christ. 6Do this not only when they are watching you, because you want to gain their approval; but with all your heart do what God wants, as slaves of Christ. 7Do your work as slaves cheerfully, as though you served the Lord, and not merely human beings. 8Remember that the Lord will reward everyone, whether slave or free, for the good work they do.

9Masters, behave in the same way towards your slaves and stop using threats. Remember that you and your slaves belong to the same Master in heaven, who judges everyone by the same standard.

The Whole Armour of God

10Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. 11Put on all the armour that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. 12For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. 13So put on God's armour now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.

14So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight round your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, 15and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. 16At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. 17And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. 18Do all this in prayer, asking for God's help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God's people. 19And pray also for me, that God will give me a message when I am ready to speak, so that I may speak boldly and make known the gospel's secret. 20For the sake of this gospel I am an ambassador, though now I am in prison. Pray that I may be bold in speaking about the gospel as I should.

Final Greetings

21Tychicus, our dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord's work, will give you all the news about me, so that you may know how I am getting on. 22That is why I am sending him to you — to tell you how all of us are getting on, and to encourage you.

23May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give to all Christian brothers and sisters peace and love with faith. 24May God's grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with undying love.

Ephesians 6GNBOpen in Bible reader

30This God — how perfect are his deeds!

How dependable his words!

He is like a shield

for all who seek his protection.

Psalms 18:30GNBOpen in Bible reader

9But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ's power over me.

2 Corinthians 12:9GNBOpen in Bible reader

I received an e-mail from a dad who wrote: “My son was shot dead at the beginning of 2012 in Modimolle. It changed my life forever. I have many questions about the event. If it was God’s decision, I will accept it, but I don’t think it was. When the 17-year-old Anene Booysen from Bredasdorp was violently raped and murdered, several readers asked me where God was during the event and why he allowed it.

The age-old question emerges again: why does a good God allow evil in this world? There is no easy answer to this question. What we do know, is that God is love and it breaks his heart to see us suffer. The murder in Modimolle and Anene’s murder was, therefore, definitely not “God’s plan”.

In Ephesians 6:12 we read: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Satan and his demons rule over the earth. Their goal is to cause destruction and then try to get us to blame it on God. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan is called the “god of this world” who blinds the minds of unbelievers, so they will not see the glory of Christ. People who have no relationship with Jesus Christ, therefore, knowingly or unknowingly, become a target lured into Satan’s plan to cause destruction. It is, therefore, understandable that with the dwindling number of believers, we have a bigger problem with things like burglaries, affairs in marriages, corruption, murder, rape and many other problems in our society.

Yet, there is hope in Jesus Christ, because he has already overcome evil on the cross and gave us the authority to do the same. In Luke 10:19 Jesus said, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”

How do we fight daily against the enemy? Remember, we are in a spiritual battle, which requires spiritual weapons. In Ephesians 6, the armour that we need to wear daily is listed:

1) The helmet of salvation: The enemy attacks us greatly in our thoughts. Therefore, put on your helmet by renewing your mind daily;

2) The breastplate of righteousness: Recognise that Jesus died for your sins and thank him again for that sacrifice;

3) The belt of truth: Take time to read the Bible. It is the only way to distinguish the truth of God from the enemy’s lies;

4) The shoes of readiness to share the gospel: Pray for wisdom and discernment from the Holy Spirit to know when to share the gospel message and when to just pray for an unbeliever;

5) The shield of faith: Hold on to God’s promises for a breakthrough. When your faith weakens, praise him. You might be surprised at how it will strengthen your faith;

6) The sword of the word: God’s word is our only weapon in the fight against evil. Make sure you memorise Scripture as it becomes your ammunition in your daily fight against the enemy.

In Psalm 18:30, we read that we can trust God for our protection: The Lord shields all who take refuge in him. And in 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul writes that he asked God three times to remove the thorn from his flesh. God’s answer was: “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.”

Whether you are in a difficult marriage, have a sick loved one at home, lost a lot of money, are struggling to overcome an addiction, have a challenge in the workplace or perhaps, like the above reader, are battling to come to terms with a traumatic event in your life, know that God will give you the amount of grace and power you need to handle your situation. Nothing will ever cross your path that he knows you cannot handle. Most of the time, we experience God most in the middle of a storm in our lives. Why don’t you choose to wait patiently in his presence? God bless.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
Find us on