A movie hit the big screen a while back called “The Avengers”; my grandson was so excited to go see it. He made costumes and drew pictures of the characters… what is it we call them? The Heroes! I grew up watching Superman breathlessly as he burst through concrete walls, bent iron bars, and opened steel doors with his bare hands. “Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s SUPERMAN!” We are all still looking for heroes in our lives, yes we are or Hollywood wouldn’t be filming “Avengers 2” as I speak and making so many other movies about them! We pay money to go and watch a make-believe hero save the day while we sit in the dark theater and for a few moments with suspended reality we are children in adult bodies, but then we walk out into the light and face our own reality.
Sometimes I wish I were Superman so that I could physically solve all of my loved ones problems, or that I were the Millionaire so that I could help those around me that are in dire need, but the only “costume” I have is found is in Ephesians 6:13-18 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; In the Message translation that verse ends with, God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long.
As for the heroes, real heroes are the people who step up in a time of crisis and do something that is not required of them, yet they are willing to, if need be, sacrifice themselves for the greater good of someone else. When I want to read about heroes I go to Hebrews chapter 11 and read about the faith of our fore-fathers and how they gave themselves, then it is said of them,Vs 13-16 Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.
It isn’t easy to be an “encourager” but Exhortation is one of the ministry gifts mentioned in Romans chapter 12. This is when you talk with a person and give them Word for their situation. If they are in the wrong, you must have the boldness to point that out, in love. If they need prayer then you do as instructed in Ephesians, pray hard and as long as they need it. I have had people who encouraged me, in fact some of you, my dear readers, often do just that!
There are times you were my hero when you told me when something helped you, or say it “made your day” and you can’t know how I might have needed to hear that! OK, capes on, ready? I think I can fly!