Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.​ - Ephesians 6:16

On Sunday, the Word was "toughen up". Paul in his last letter, writes from his prison cell to his "dear son" Timothy exhorting him to "endure hardness as a good solider." This letter is also instructive to us as we face the challenges of our day.

Toughen up, but how? Each day this week we unpack four ways to toughen up in these times. First, take up the shield of faith to quench the enemy's fiery darts.

Barnes Commentary on Ephesians 6:16

"The word 'quench,' means only that they would be "put out" by being thrown "against" the shield, as a candle would by being thrown against anything. "The fiery darts" that were used in war were small, slender pieces of cane, which were filled with combustible materials, and set on fire; or darts around which some combustible material was wound, and which were set on fire, and then shot "slowly" against a foe. The object was to make the arrow fasten in the body, and increase the danger by the burning; or, more frequently, those darts were thrown against ships, forts, tents, etc., with an intention to set them on fire. They were in common use among the ancients. Arrian mentions the fire-bearing weapons; Thucydides the fire-bearing arrows; and Livy refers to similar weapons as in common use in war. By the "fiery darts of the wicked," Paul here refers, probably, to the temptations of the great adversary, which are like fiery darts; or those furious suggestions of evil, and excitements to sin, which he may throw into the mind like fiery darts. They are - blasphemous thoughts, unbelief, sudden temptation to do wrong, or thoughts that wound and torment the soul. In regard to them, we may observe:

(1) that they come suddenly, like arrows sped from a bow;

(2) they come from unexpected quarters, like arrows shot suddenly from an enemy in ambush;

(3) they pierce, and penetrate, and torment the soul, as arrows would that are on fire;

(4) they set the soul on fire, and kindle the worst passions, as fiery darts do a ship or camp against which they are sent.

The only way to meet them is by the "shield of faith;" by confidence in God, and by relying on his gracious promises and aid.

Toughen Up: take up the shield of faith