How to Survive When Your Armor Fails

It’s times like this I’m grateful for a poor sense of smell.

There it was, sitting in the middle of the grass, an armadillo carcass interrupting the serenity of my morning walk.  I didn’t know what killed it, how long it had been there or how long it would be before someone or something removed the remains.  I was, however, pretty sure of one thing.

The armadillo never expected its armor to fail.

I’m sure it thought (however armadillos actually “think”) that it would be protected inside its little shell.  I’m sure it thought that whatever crisis came its way, it could retreat into the safety of the solution that had protected it so many times before.  I’m sure it thought, “it could never happen to me.”

But it did happen.

One way or another, something always does.

I wish I could say I have nothing in common with the armadillo, but I do.  The truth is that there are things in my own life that I expect to protect me, to insulate me from trouble, to keep me from harm, and I often put more trust in those earthly things than I should.

Maybe it’s the same for you.

Maybe you feel secure because of the size of your bank account or the state of your retirement plan.  Maybe you feel protected because of the accomplishments of your past or your careful planning for the future.  Maybe you tell yourself, “My spouse would never do that” or “my kids will always know better” or “I’m too strong to let that happen to me.”

But something will happen.

Maybe it won’t be the specific thing you expect, but the reality of living in a broken world is this.  For most of us, one way or another something will eventually happen that breaks through our defenses and shakes us to the core.

So, what then?  What will you do, not if, but when your armor fails?

There’s a story in the Bible about a man named Job who lives a righteous life and is richly blessed.  Then one day it all collapses around him.  His wealth and his children, his health and his friends, all of it is broken and taken and Job finds himself with nothing… except this one thing.

Sitting in an ash heap and covered in sores, this is what Job says in the midst of his calamity.  “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”  (Job 13:15a)

How can he say such a thing?  How can he claim hope in the midst of such devastation, when the things in which he trusted have betrayed him and when all that brought him happiness has been taken?

The secret is in one specific thing that Job understands.

The reason for Job’s hope and the way he can survive in the midst of tragedy is found in this conviction.  “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth.”  (Job 19:25)

Job knows that the story is not over yet, and that when it finally is, he will be redeemed.  He knows that the game hasn’t finished yet, but when it finally does, his victory has been secured by someone more able than himself.

Job survives because though his armor has failed him, his Savior still has the last word.

If you want to have hope that is secure in the midst of tragedy, this is the answer.  If you want to have strength that will survive after losses you never thought you could handle, this is the way.

Put your complete trust in Jesus as your Redeemer!  Then remember that He alone has the final word, and if you’re in Christ, that word has already been spoken over you.

Victory!

-Pastor Phillip

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