Pastor Paul Rieger - Associate Pastor - Trinity Lutheran Church
“What’s wrong with us?”
Some of us must be feeling, “What’s wrong with us?” This congregation has certainly been hit with hard times. Losing one pastor to Alzheimer’s, losing another to cancer, seeing many pastors come through but not stay, and so on and so on.
We saw our school go from hundreds to less than a hundred. We’ve seen people die, we’ve seen friends and family leave, we have seen it all. Why does it feel like we’re being targeted by all this bad stuff?
Well, it’s because we are being targeted. Look at what St. Paul has to say in Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” It is because we belong to God that we are targeted for this evil.
What to do?
And so, what is Paul’s advice? Refer to Ephesians 6 where Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God. Put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, have on your feet the readiness of the Gospel, put on your head the helmet of salvation, and in your hands have ready the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. You are equipped to handle all situations. You are armored by God to withstand all this evil that is being thrown. And you can do this because you have faith and hope. You know that your savior Jesus has already won. You know that whatever you suffer, you will see paradise because your savior Jesus has already won.
But for this time, I encourage you, brothers and sisters, to fight. Fight for what is right. Stand up for your faith. Go out of your way to bring God’s mercy and love to a world that is suffering and caught up in the schemes of evil. You might not be leading charges or military campaigns, but in caring for the poor, the hungry, the fatherless, and any others in need, you fight and win battles against Satan and his evil in ways that no military could.