From: Scott Koefoed
Date: Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 8:38 AM
Subject: Question about the Shield of Faith
To: Felecia Andrews
Hi Felecia, Barry asked me to respond to your question since he has a lot going on right now. Hope my thoughts will be helpful. You asked….
How would you say that 1 Peter 1:3-9 pertains to Ephesians 6:16
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. ~1 Peter 1:2-9
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. ~Ephesian 6:16
That’s my question. I’m just trying to learn how to use this shield of faith to protect me from all those fiery arrows. Please let me know if you have any thoughts or insights.
It’s interesting that Peter says that we are shielded through faith by God’s power, just as Paul says that our shield is faith. But Peter adds in verses 6-7 that God allows us to suffer various kinds of trials so that our faith may be refined and proved genuine. Just as gold is refined and made more pure by fire, and steel is tempered and made stronger by fire, so our faith is refined and made stronger through these trials. We don’t like the trials, but God uses them to strengthen our faith so that when Satan shoots his flaming arrows of doubt or discouragement or temptation or whatever, our faith is strong enough to not let those things get the better of us.
So I don’t think the flaming arrows of Satan are the same as the fiery trials that God allows us to go through. Satan intends to get us to think that God is somehow letting us down, or won’t help us. He assaults our minds with unworthy thoughts of God. Our shield is meant to extinguish these fiery arrows. But the fire that God allows through trials is meant to strengthen that shield (our faith).
One way this works out practically is this: when the enemy sends these thoughts about God, our faith, which has already been tested, can help us. We can look back and say, “Wait a minute. How many times has God proven himself faithful to me! How many times has he sustained me through various troubles, come to my aid when I’ve cried out to him, met my needs, encouraged me. As I think about the trials I’ve been through already, I see God’s faithful love and caring for me. I will NOT listen to these insinuations of Satan that THIS time God is going to fail me. No. God has a proven track record in my life. He has been faithful, so I won’t believe what Satan is telling me now.” It is a faith that has been tested, a shield that has been made strong through fire, that helps us here, not a faith that has never been tested. Our tested faith extinguishes the fiery arrows. But we have to make the choice to lift up the shield, to let this faith that’s been through trouble help us with the present situation.
And Peter says that when we do that, our faith brings great praise and glory when Jesus is revealed, because He’s the one who gets us home!
Felecia, I hope this is helpful. I trust God will help both of us (all of us) to use the Shield of Faith effectively. May God help you to defeat the fiery arrows your enemy may send your way today. Remember God’s faithfulness to you, and stand firm.
By Barry Flanders
June 13, 2018
A dear sister forwarded this email from our dear brother, Scott Koefoed, who is now with the Lord. She intended it to encourage me, to strengthen me.. and it did. May it do the same for you. Our friend Scott Koefoed was one of our teaching Pastors and, along with his wonderful wife Sally, was a co-founder of Grace Church. His heart and teaching still speak to us. – Barry