Don The ‘Full Armor Of God’ To Maintain Hope, Todd Shupe Advises

According to Todd Shupe, we all experience times in our lives in which we feel hopeless. For some, these periods linger into years and years. Given these circumstances, Todd Shupe would like to equip readers with some thoughts on how to maintain hope when all hope appears to be gone. In this article, you’ll find some thoughts on the importance of hope in your life. For your consideration, Job was a strong disciple of God, but had all of his possessions taken. He expressed hopelessness in Job 17:15, saying “Where then is my hope — who can see any hope for me?”

“I have heard it said before that the most dangerous man is one without hope.  He feels he has nothing to lose and no future,” Todd Shupe, a former LSU professor, said. “I have seen the look in someone’s face when there is no hope. I have seen this in hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, hospice facilities and even in church.”

One of the greatest goals of the enemy is to convince you that you have no hope and that God has forgotten you and you have no future. Todd Shupe recently heard on a Christian radio station, “If you do not believe in the promises of God, then by default you are believing in the lies of the enemy.” Carefully read the following premise: You must know that you are a beloved child of God that is very precious in his sight. He desires you to seek Him and for you to be happy. He will walk with you always and never leave you. All of your sins have been paid by the blood of Jesus.

“The enemy will attack you every day of your life and try to rob you of hope,” says Todd Shupe.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything to stand,” Ephesians 6:11-13.

Ephesians 6 goes on to explain how to fight the enemy.

The Belt (of Truth): “Stand firm in the belt of truth buckled around your waist,” Ephesians 6:14. The belt of truth involves our hearts and our minds. Truth keeps us close to Christ and is essential in the Christian walk. The belt of truth holds our amour in place. Commit yourself daily to be in the Word. “Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth!” Psalm 86:11.

The Breastplate (of Righteousness): With the breastplate of righteousness in place,” Ephesians 6:14, a soldier with a breastplate goes into battle boldly with confidence. The enemy is constantly attacking with lies to steal our hope. Without the breastplate of righteousness, these will penetrate your heart. Become aware of who you are in Christ Jesus. Come boldly into His presence, (Hebrews 4:16).

The Shield (of Faith): “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one,” Ephesians 6:16. The shield not only defends our whole body, but also our armor. The shield of faith has a very specific function: To stop all the fiery darts of the wicked.

The Helmet (of Salvation): “Take the helmet of salvation,” Ephesians 6:17. Satan’s target: Your mind. Satan’s weapon: Lies. The enemy wants to make us doubt God and our salvation. The helmet protects our minds from doubting the truth of God’s saving work for us. Our mind is the battle ground. “Since we belong to the day, we must be serious and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a Helmet of the Hope of Salvation,” 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

The Sword (of The Spirit): Put on “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:17. The sword of the Spirit is the only weapon of offense in the armor, but the Word is also a tool for defense. Lies and deception are all weapons the enemy uses against us. With the Sword of the Spirit, God’s word, the people are equipped to deal with them all. We need to trust in the truth of the Word.

According to Todd Shupe, formerly of LSU, it is so important that you begin each day with hope. Romans 5:3-4 tells us, “we know that suffering produces perseverance; and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” So if you feel that there is no hope in your situation, be patient and realize that you will develop perseverance, then character, and finally hope. It is a promise from God. Be blessed!

Todd Shupe Shares His Thoughts on Evangelism

Evangelism is typically defined as the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.  According to Todd Shupe, many Christians are uncomfortable with active engagement in evangelism because they do not consider themselves a preacher and are too timid to engage in personal witness. The gift of evangelism is directly from Christ:  “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.”  (Ephesians 4:11).

Todd Shupe thinks it is important to acknowledge that not all are called to evangelism.  According to Romans 12:6-8, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Below are five steps to help discern if evangelism is right for you. 

Start with prayer:

According to Todd Shupe, prayer is essential to discern God’s will for us.  It is essential that we follow His will and not try to have Him follow our will. God demonstrated in Exodus 13:21 that He wants us to follow him. “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.”

  1. Talk with your pastor and friends

In addition to prayer, God will speak to us through our friends and our pastor. Todd Shupe encourages you to talk and pray with them and ask for their assistance in determining what your spiritual gifts are.

  1. The best evangelism doesn’t involve words.

St. Francis of Assisi is known for this: “Speak the gospel wherever you go and use words when necessary.”  The best method to extend the reach of the church is by sharing Christ’s love through missions and Christian action; be the hands and feet of Christ to the unchurched.

  1. The Great Commission

One of the greatest blessings we have as Christians is The Great Commission. Todd Shupe believes that we have all been called to the priesthood of all believers and to make disciples of all nations.

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.   When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:16-20).

  1. Be the light of Christ

There is plenty of darkness in the world.  According to Todd Shupe, as Christians we should all strive to be the light of Christ and bring His light into the darkness. John 1:5 tells us “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Be the light. Be blessed.