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Armed with Righteousness

“Can we get a light sabre photo?” asked Elizabeth Anderson.
Following a crunching tackle whilst playing football on P-day, she ended up with a badly sprained ankle, some support bandaging, and a pair of crutches.
Elizabeth has quite an imagination, so, arming ourselves for our light sabre battle was fun.
There are, however, many battles in our life’s that are not quite so fun.
Daily we see real life battles played out in war torn cities in Ukraine.
Other personal battles can take the form of; financial difficulties, relationship issues, career pressures, inner battles with doubts, mental health anxieties, testimony concerns, abuse, insecurities, trauma, fear, bullying, parenthood issues, and many more.
What battles are you facing now?
How do you overcome your personal battles?
“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself, the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us, that’s where it’s at.” Jesse Owens.
Winning those battles oftentimes takes extra effort.

Extra Effort

For me, the extra effort comes through self-reflection, slowing down daily, connecting with the divine part of myself, renewing my spiritual strength through prayer, scripture study and treasuring up the words of God.
Spiritual strength comes through faith, obedience, and repentance.
Neil L. Andersen said. “As you arm yourself for battle, your protection comes from God, who is our Father. You have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you take His name upon [you].”
He goes on to say, “While the battle rages, we need not fear. The Lord will help you, your family, and others you love who need special help. We know the outcome. The Saviour will triumph over all!”
I know personally that it is through our conversion to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and by following Him, that brings happiness, peace, real joy, and a bright hope for the future.
In Isaiah 41:10 we read, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Recently, I spoke about being “armed with righteousness” – 1 Nephi 14:14.
To survive the battles of our day, arming ourselves with light sabres would be nice if they were real, but the reality of our battles requires us to consider one of our greatest allies of all – even Jesus Christ.
He will help us to overcome all our battles and ultimately provide the greatest victory of all by defeating the sting of death, through His glorious resurrection.

Deep Roots

Storms blew across Europe on Friday.
Whilst walking through our neighbourhood yesterday, there was plenty evidence of fallen trees.
We passed a few trees that had been uprooted. Their roots seemed quite shallow, without much depth.
For a moment, I wondered if they would have survived the wind and storm, if their roots had been deeper.
Similarly, each of us will face the winds and storms of adversity in our own lives.
As the wind blows, are you prepared to withstand the buffetings that follow?
Seedlings fall to the ground, and dependent upon a number of factors, some may flourish and grow into mighty trees.
Opposition, challenge, and difficulty are part of growth. It takes time, effort, perseverance, set-backs will be inevitable and adaptation certain.

Roots

“But unlike trees, we can choose to deliberately develop the spiritual root structure for our lives. We decide where to set our roots down and how deeply to sink them into the soil. Daily decisions make tiny, almost imperceptible differences in the roots of our faith, the effect of which becomes foundational.” – says L. Whitney Clayton.
In the Book of Mormon, Alma likened the word of God to a seed and spoke of the need to nourish the seed’s growth into a tree:
“And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.
“But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.” (Alma 32:37-38.)
It is my personal witness, that as we weather the storms of life, we will be strengthened by learning of Jesus Christ.
As we deeply root ourselves in the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and exercise our faith in Him, He will fortify us against any buffetings from winds and storms that will come.