By: Pastor David
“For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock.” Psalm 27:5 (NLT)
Verses like this can make it sound like God protects us from anything and everything, all the time. Have you ever felt like that wasn't true? Have there been times in your life when it didn't seem like God was protecting you at all? I've experienced those times. I remember in grade school being picked on by a gang of bullies and feeling so afraid. I asked God repeatedly to protect me and wondered why He never seemed to answer. Eventually, the bullying ended; but at the time, I thought it never would. Job went through circumstances that led him to feel the same way. When bad things happen to us, it's not unusual to wonder why God didn't seem to protect us from those things.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
The greatest form of protection and security is spiritual protection. Jesus paid the price for our sins when He defeated Satan on the cross (Colossians 2:15). His sacrifice transforms us into a new creation when we put our faith in Him.
Jesus protects us from spiritual death and hell. However, this doesn't mean that we still don't have spiritual conflicts. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us the reality of this unseen conflict with Satan and his armies is real and constant. Life is much like a war that already has a victor but still has battles that need to be fought.
If you look in the Bible, you'll see that everything that happened to Job started as a conversation in the spirit world between God and Satan. God gave Satan permission to do what he did to Job. This story shows us that Satan desires to attack anyone who God loves. Jesus describes Satan and his desires in John 10:10: “The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.”
\God's protection doesn't promise you won't ever experience spiritual attacks. What it does promise is that God has the devil on a leash. He decides how long or short the leash will be at any given time.
Our job is to be faithful, like Job, and to use God's power and protection to engage the enemy. James 4:7 reminds us, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” As we resist Satan in prayer, we push back his power. And don't forget, God wants us to fight for ourselves, as well as the spiritual protection of family, friends and loved ones. The battle is won in prayer.
- We know that Jesus' death and resurrection gives us ultimate spiritual protection. How does that truth give you confidence?
- How can you “fight” more intentionally for the spiritual protection of yourself and others?
“For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.” Psalm 91:3 (NLT)
The stories of Jesus healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and raising the dead leave me astounded. Scripture is full of stories that illustrate how much God cares for mankind's physical wellbeing. However, physical protection and healing don't always happen, and we're left questioning God.
Here are three reasons why God sometimes protects us physically, and why other times, He doesn't:
1. We are getting new bodies.
2 Corinthians 5:4 says, “While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.”
God saves us from the penalty of sin (which is spiritual death), but not the consequences of sin (which is physical death). Because we are getting new bodies someday, the saving of our present bodies isn't God's primary focus.
2. Our faith is still growing.
2 Corinthians 4:16 says, “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.”
God is more concerned with our inner growth than our outer comfort. He often uses physical pain to cause us to cling to Him and increase our dependence on Him. Pain also helps purify our desires to earnestly seek Him, regardless of whether or not He heals us. He wants us to have an attitude like Job who said “God might kill me, but I have no other hope. I am going to argue my case with him.” (Job 13:15)
3. We were made to reveal God's glory.
John 9:3 says, “'It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins,'” Jesus answered. 'This happened so the power of God could be seen in Him.'”
When Jesus healed the sick, it displayed the power and glory of His Father. These miracles attracted crowds, who gathered and heard Jesus share the cure for their spiritual sickness (sin). God still performs miracles today. We just have to pray in faith.
- Is there a physical issue that you are struggling to trust God's protection for? Share this issue with the community, so we can pray.
- Which of the three reasons above do you most need to meditate on to help you trust God's comfort and protection?
- We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NLT)
Emotions aren't good or bad; it's what we choose to do with them that can be good or bad. It's our responsibility, not God's, to identify and control our emotions. However, God does offer His power and principles to help us protect and control our feelings.
Here are three steps you can use to protect your emotions and your response to them:
All three days run a little long in word count. I cut them down somewhat; but I left them a little longer because I liked what he had to say. I especially liked his lists of 3 in Day 2 & 3. Let me know if you want me to cut them down further.