. . . you are safe!
What if I lose my job? What if this strange feeling is cancer? What if I said the wrong thing and she’s mad at me? What if I forgot to pay a bill? What if the car has problems? What if I bomb this test? What if he is seeing someone else? What if I have an accident?
Life is full of what-if’s. Worry, anxiety, is the expression of the flesh’s fear of not being self-sufficient. We simply are not smart enough, strong enough, or influential enough to control everything in our lives. We feel unsafe because we aren’t in control.
Some people compensate for their fear by setting up all kinds of rules and standards and contracts in their lives. Others become aggressive or narcissistic. Still others go through their lives dependent on someone else, who also is not able to control life. And some just live in fear almost every day.
But we were never made to be self-sufficient. The Lord created us to be dependent on Him. If He were a normal person, you might think that was a bad thing because normal people are undependable and self-serving. But the Lord is faithful and gracious. He really does care about us and He will protect us and deliver us.
In fact, the plan from the beginning is that we would live our lives in close relationship with Him. He would provide for us and we would have a life without fear and worry. Sin took that life away from us, but Jesus gives it back.
The normal life of the believer is one of safety and assurance. I know that we often view our circumstances out of our flesh, the system of living we designed when we were apart from the Lord, but the flesh doesn’t see the truth. The flesh is always afraid because it doesn’t trust anyone but itself and knows that it is unable to control everything. But when, in the Spirit, we are able to look at the Lord and see reality, we understand that nothing can hurt us.
The Bible is full of little stories designed to give us encouragement. In 2 Kings we read the story of a great army from Syria that had come to capture Elisha. Elisha’s servant was very much afraid. But Elisha knew the truth.
And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17
The army of the Lord surrounded Elisha to protect him. There was no danger. (You might want to read the rest of the story for yourself. Some impressive faith!)
What if you and I could see the Lord’s protection or provision gathered around us? What if we could see that check coming that would bail us out just at the last moment? What if we could see the angels of the Lord surrounding our home or our car? What if the Lord opened our eyes to what He does on our behalf? What would happen to our fear?
Yes, I understand that bad things happen. Actually I have to qualify that. I understand that things come into our lives that are uncomfortable and don’t fit with our plans. The things that come into our lives, however evil they may be, are only the ones the Lord allows for good in our lives.
How can cancer or job loss or physical abuse be good for us? That is a very reasonable question and it is hard to answer from the outside. But I have seen too many people in the midst or in the aftermath of terrible suffering who sing praises and give thanks to the Lord. Those who suffer find that there is One who stands with them and loves them. And the love of the Lord is greater than their pain.
The bottom line is that the people of God are safe. If you lose your job or have an accident or get sick, the Lord will walk through it with you and, if you let Him, He will bring much good even through the suffering. You can trust Him.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10