Soldier of Hope :: By Lisa Heaton

Ready for some more heavenly hope? If you missed the first installment of this topic, you can find the Rapture Ready article here: “Heavenly Hope.” We rapture watchers sure do need an ample dose of hope most days to keep us hanging on. If you’re anything like me, you thought we would be outta here by now. While the world goes crazier than we ever thought we would see, and attacks on us and our families only intensify, many of us are becoming battle-weary and experiencing deep despair. Some days and some seasons, it all simply becomes too much to handle, our hope wanes, and we try our best to escape the battlefield.

Bad news alert: It’s only going to get worse. There’s not much I see on the horizon in the way of relief other than Jesus. The closer the devil gets to his foretold end, the more his demonic activity is going to ramp up and his attacks intensify. My family and your family are targets and will remain in the enemy’s crosshairs. Without hope, how are we to stand firm? The loss of hope can turn catastrophic in the life of a believer and allow the devil’s predictable opposition to become unforeseen oppression. We noted in the previous installment how opposition stands in our way but is surmountable, whereas oppression stands on our heads and sits us down.

In a world doing its best to steal our hope and render us ineffective as the battle rages in the heavenlies, we are faced with the question: What can we proactively do to maintain our hope and even restore it after a fiery season of opposition turned oppression? The “Heavenly Hope” article introduced the first few principles we can all apply when faced with the enemy’s constant opposition and occasional oppression:

We look for the goodness of God no matter our circumstances, knowing He will use all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, even while under fire.

We fix our eyes on Jesus with the assurance that He’s truly coming. For a God who cannot lie, He has to.

We wield the sword of the Spirit, God’s Word, the most vital–and underutilized–weapon in the believer’s arsenal.

With our third principle above, we moved into Ephesians 6:10-18, the full armor passage, where Paul used the battle array of a Roman soldier to give us strategic spiritual training. I can’t recommend enough that you, that we all, camp in these passages until Jesus comes back. If not daily visits, then we at least need to make frequent ones to this fundamental training if we are to remain soldiers of hope.

Stand Our Ground

I mentioned in Heavenly Hope how, at times, I sense the enemy holding me down in all-out oppression. When that happens, I recognize that something has happened to give him ground. I’ve done something or allowed something in that has stolen my hope or peace or joy. He has no power to steal even an ounce of what Jesus died to give me, what He has imparted to me through His indwelling Spirit. In knowing that, I have to take a spiritual and physical inventory. Ultimately, I can’t control that opposition keeps coming against me, but I can do everything “to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:11 & 14) so that oppression doesn’t stop me in my tracks or, even worse, take me under.

One area I review in my life is what we would call practicing spiritual disciplines. We often think of discipline as punishment, but our gaining of disciplined lives comes through such things as prayer, worship, the reading and studying and memorizing of Scripture, gathering with other believers, etc. These strengthen us for battle. The battle is raging, and most aren’t up to the task. Most have undisciplined spiritual minds and lives. I know I’ve been exactly there and have the scars to prove my unpreparedness for combat. I can be and still am undisciplined at times, but then when reminded that my preparedness for the assaults that keep coming is my best means of surviving and thriving, then I get back on track and to the disciplines where Jesus is front and center of my attention. If you look at the spiritual disciplines, He’s really the core and focus of each one.

It’s not us doing stuff. It’s us being with our King and Commander, Him “suiting us up” daily for battle.

A phrase that came to me one day, one I have kept posted on my desk for many years now, is: What soldier can have an untamed mind and still be victorious in battle? I know I can’t. I’ve found my mind is most susceptible to attacks and the most vulnerable part of my spiritual life. I’m a writer, so it’s constantly filled with thoughts and dialogue and ponderings. It’s more than a wandering mind; it’s an overly busy mind. The Lord has accomplished things through my mind (and typing fingertips) that astound me. But because He has, the enemy never lets up in his assault against my thought life. He does his best to sow doubts and distractions in order to keep me preoccupied with anything and everything but the call God has placed on my life to be an encourager of the believers and a feeder of sheep.

He does the same with you. The battle begins in your mind, whether through doubts, fears, distractions, temptations, etc. I don’t know what your area of vulnerability is, but you do. You know where you need to keep up your guard. What a timely place to apply Ephesians 6:16’s advice to take “up” our shield of faith. By saturating yourself in the Word of God and in His promises, you grow your faith and trust in Him. I’ve learned that, in the case of the Roman soldiers Paul used as his fitting examples, they would soak their shields in water prior to going to battle. Our equivalent would be us soaking in Jesus, the Word and Living Water. With Water permeating our minds and souls, the enemy’s arrows are far more likely to fizzle than burst into flame.

On the Move

Another principle that sustains our hope is remaining in service to others. When active in ministry, we will certainly have a target on our backs, but if we keep our feet marching in ministry and remain a moving target, a flaming arrow will far less likely make its mark than if we are standing still.

I expressed above how the enemy often assaults me through my mind, a fact especially true when it comes to doubt. A timely example would be a recent sleepless night. As I tossed and turned, one word kept echoing in my head: Failure. Failure. Failure. I bet I heard it a thousand times. I thought of all my near misses in ministry, the things I’ve tried to accomplish yet never seemed to make the mark. I deliberated my parenting failures with one former prodigal son and a current “woke one.” It went on this way for nearly three hours before I finally got a little make-up sleep. But God…. Don’t you love those words?

Even before I poured my coffee, I checked my email and found a message from someone who had read the “Heavenly Hope” article on Rapture Ready. He ended with, “Thank you for your honesty as we were on the verge of losing hope.” Sigh. I needed that. When I read it, it was as if the Lord whispered into my spirit, “Are you a failure?” I whispered aloud, “No, Lord.”

This year has been tough, with tremendous loss and upheaval. Last year, though, may have been even more challenging as I struggled with increasing cognitive decline, something that terrifies me way beyond what death could ever do, especially after watching what has happened to my brother, who is rapidly deteriorating from dementia. If I had lost my hope after this past year, I don’t think it would have surprised anyone. But I haven’t lost hope, well, for more than a few minutes here and there. Instead, I keep doing what I know I’m called to do and remain a moving target by not sitting down and giving up. I keep writing. I keep trying to reach out to people who need hope. I keep actively pursuing Jesus and actively gathering other believers together for us to build one another up in the Lord.

I hope the same can be said of you. Even during the worst of circumstances, I pray you keep moving, soldier. For as long as you have breath (Psalm 150:6), praise the Lord and serve His kingdom. I don’t want you to do for doing’s sake. I want you to answer the call on your life and be who God uniquely called you to be here as the clock reads five ’til midnight. There’s nothing special about me that makes me able to keep on keeping on. It’s the power of the Spirit and my willingness to surrender to His will and way. I’ve learned it’s not about me giving up; it’s about me giving in.

What do you need to give in to? What activities that benefit the kingdom and the body might keep you moving? Remember, a moving target is safer than a sitting one. Pour out into the lives of others. Just as that timely email from yesterday proved to me, in service to others, you will find hope.

Gain More Ground

Speaking of others… One offensive and defensive measure that Roman soldiers employed in order to gain ground was to lock arms with other soldiers, often in threes, as they advanced across the battlefield. The two on the ends would hold up their shields to protect the trio from frontal assault, while the center soldier would hold his shield overhead to protect them from arrows above. This is a strong reminder for us today of just how imperative it is that, in order for us to gain rather than lose ground, we keep assembling with other believers (Hebrews 10:25). I know you may be struggling with churches in your area since most pastors aren’t preaching or teaching the truth of where we are on the kingdom calendar. Still, you must find ways to link arms with other believers. You need their protective shields as much as they need yours.

This leads me to invite you to join our group of rapture watchers who meet on Zoom most Thursday nights at 6:00 p.m. (CST). We discuss topics like this and other rapture-related subjects. It’s always an open invitation to any who can make it. More information can be found at If you can’t make the meetings, our previous assignments are always available. You might even “get on the move” and invite others to join you in covering the assignment and discussing the questions. However it’s accomplished, this is about us preparing the way in our hearts for the King.

There are a dozen more ways I could encourage you, pages more that I could fill with biblical principles the Lord has used with me over the years to help me hold on to or restore my waning hope. I’ll leave you, instead, with a prophecy update from Pastor JD Farag that we used as our assignment recently at our Zoom Gathering: Always Pray to Not Lose Heart? If you would like to view the discussion questions we used for your own personal study to dive a little deeper, you can find a printable PDF here.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).

Hang in there, brothers and sisters. He who promised truly is faithful. He. Will. Come!

Blessings to you,



If you would like to read Lisa’s previous Rapture Ready articles, you can find them here: Lisa’s Rapture Ready Articles/Series.

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About Daybreak with Lisa:

Daybreak is a way of life, one of exposing the rising darkness and telling of the soon-coming Light. We only have so many daybreaks remaining before that final sunset when we, as believers, are caught up in the air to meet Jesus.

As an author, Lisa Heaton is a storyteller with a heart for truth. Her greatest desire in her fiction and nonfiction work is to challenge the reader to discover the truth of who Jesus is and who they are to Him. Now, here as we wait for the any-minute arrival of Jesus for His church in the rapture, Lisa’s latest mission is to warn the lost and wake the found and to help others discover their unique voice to share the truth of our times. More at Contact Lisa at