Daily Archives: June 8, 2020

God Is My Mighty Protector

25 Verses About God's Protection - Purposeful FaithPin on Scripture
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Plagues, the End Times, and Trusting in God’s Protection: ‘You Will Hear Us and Rescue Us’

ANALYSIS 

The term “apocalypse” is being tossed around these days in connection with the coronavirus pandemic as people seek the right words to express the trauma we’re feeling on a global scale. There’s a ton of fear in our world right now for obvious reasons since this COVID-19 virus is quite contagious, leading to concerns that it could overwhelm our medical system with deadly force. So this question seems to be floating in the air: Is the coronavirus some sort of sign that the end is getting closer? The Bible has quite a bit to say about all this.

Just to start with a little historical perspective, I have a hunch that people enduring the Bubonic Plagues or Hitler’s Nazi death machine were facing some intense evidence that the end of the world might be getting near. Yet, we’re all still here centuries after those plagues and many decades after WWII. To be clear, I’m not belittling our current predicament or what it tells us about the End Times. In fact, when the entire world is literally facing a lockdown, people are dying around the globe, and economies are being undermined, I think that’s some serious evidence that God wants us to pay close attention to His Word.

“When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.” Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.”

Our world has certainly experienced all of those things in some measure, and they seem to be escalating, from tsunamis to massive earthquakes, from wars to global Islamic terrorism, from plagues of locusts and disease to blood moons and other signs in the heavens, it’s all been happening around us in recent history.

But several excerpts from that passage caught my eye. Consider the phrase “the end does not follow immediately”. I’m not an expert on eschatology, but to me, that phrase means the traumatic events unfolding in our world – including the coronavirus pandemic – indicate that a conclusion is on the horizon, but we can’t read these specific signs to mean that the conclusion will be immediate.

The other phrase that caught my eye was “do not be terrified.” Throughout scripture, God tells us “do not be afraid.” You can find much more about that HERE.

Jesus continues in Luke 21:25-28:

“There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Jesus offers true hope by stating, “Your redemption is drawing near.” While plagues are prophesied throughout Scripture and were a part of the traumatic events Jesus predicted would precede His return, mercy is also clearly the heart of our heavenly Father. His desire as a protective Father is to shield His children.

Author Joel Rosenberg explains that there are multiple passages throughout the Bible where God explains that in His mercy, “He will shake individuals and nations in a desire to get our attention and draw us to Him.”

In Amos 9:9, the Lord God says, “I will shake the house of Israel among all nations,” and in Haggai 2:7 He says, “I will shake all the nations.” 

Also, Hebrews 12:26 said, “And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.”

His people Israel understood that concept quite well. In this passage from ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:9‬, the Israelites place their faith in God to protect them from plagues:

“They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.'”‬‬

Another often-cited passage from Chronicles deals with the issue of God’s protection and power to deliver. Most people cite verse 14 of 2 Chronicles 7, but they don’t always mention the portion in verse 13 that talks about plagues.

“(13) If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, (14) and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

God calls us to humility and repentance in order to receive His healing, and now is the perfect time in history for all people to cry out to Him for salvation. If we ask for His forgiveness through Jesus Christ, He will grant it. If we ask for His shelter, He will provide it. Psalm 91 also makes that clear.

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday…

If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.”

Obviously, no one knows when the end will come or how close we are to Christ’s return, but Jesus made it clear that we can read the signs of the times to know when it’s getting closer. The Word of God ensures us that we can find refuge in Him and freedom from the fear and anxiety that plagues our world in the age of coronavirus and beyond.

 Protect You from Harm

By: Debbie W. WilsonWriter, crosswalk.com

 

“I don’t like her.” I was probably seven years old when I told my mother my reservations about a woman who was going to be my aunt. My uncle had brought his striking fiancée to meet the family. She smiled, but something about her said “Beware.”

When your child tells you she doesn’t like someone, how do you respond? Or when you feel wary about someone in a respected position, what do you do? Often Christian parents tell their child, “Now sweetie, we’re supposed to love everyone.” They incorrectly believe that love means trusting.

Jesus told us to be discerning. When He warned against casting pearls before swine, He was talking about unsafe people, not livestock (Matthew 7:6). God has placed internal radar within us. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of it because discernment feels judgmental and mean. Yet those warnings protect us.

After my uncle married his bride, her true nature came out. She was as cruel and beautiful as Snow White’s stepmother. My mother remembered my words and remarked that children see what adults often miss. I’ve thought about that when, as an adult, I’ve tried to talk myself out of uneasy feelings. I wanted to like the people I met. Trusting feels nice. Believing the best sounds kind. Yet, over the years, my instincts have usually proven right.

God’s Word helps us built a sound alarm system that warns and protect us. His Spirit activates that alarm as we walk with Him. Our radar may not spell out what’s wrong. It just tells us to be careful. We don’t have to understand the why. We just need to heed it.

 

Obedience Brings Protection

I will never forget a day several years ago when I was asked to take on a monumental new ministry task. I’ll spare you the details, but it was one of those jobs that made you think, “Why in the world would anyone agree to do this!”

As I pondered the job to be done, several thoughts flooded my mind and I think Noah must have wondered these same things.

First I thought, “What will people think? Surely if I agree to this, everyone will think I’ve taken leave of my senses.” Like Noah’s call to build the ark, sometimes the Lord calls us to do things that just don’t make much sense!

Second, I began to count the cost of taking on this project including long hours of preparation and execution. No, I wasn’t going to build an ark, but this task felt just as huge!

Finally, I knew that saying “yes” meant agreeing to subject myself to endless criticism by people who would want me to do the project their way.

When I sized up the situation, there were quite a few items in the negative column and only one in the positive. That one was, “I think God is calling me to do this.”

Like Noah, I had a sense that this was an assignment from God.

While I was still considering my decision, a dear friend gave me a devotion. When I opened it, my eyes fell to these words, “The safest path is dangerous if it is outside of God’s will. The most dangerous path is safe if He is calling you to walk that way.”

Suddenly, I saw myself suspended high above the ground on a very narrow bridge.  There was danger of falling on either side, but I knew I could cross safely. Then I saw myself walking on a smooth path, stumbling and tripping and injuring myself.

A strange image, but it helped me realize what the Lord was trying to tell me; that with obedience comes the promise of protection.

Noah certainly experienced that truth. Because He obeyed the Lord, He was safe and secure when the flood waters came.

When I said “yes” to the Lord in taking on this new ministry project, I too found myself safe in His arms. It was not always easy. And I’m sure Noah didn’t always have a fun time sailing around with a bunch of smelly animals. But, like Noah, I always knew I was safe in His care and would emerge from the venture unharmed.

I learned quite a lot from that experience, mostly about how much the Lord can be trusted. He always, always, always, has our best interests at heart, even when the way is tough.

So what is the Lord calling you to do today? And what obstacles make you want to say no? Is it fear of rejection or ridicule? Fear of failure? Fear of loss?

Whatever the concern, I challenge you to take that leap of faith and trust that you will find shelter and safety in the Lord’s loving arms. I promise you, the knowledge you gain in understanding how perfectly your Savior can be trusted will bring you great peace.  And that gift is worth the difficulties you may face along the way.

 

Streams in the Desert – June 8

Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t

…because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world. This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith. (1 John 5:4)

At every turn in the road one can find something that will rob him of his victory and peace of mind, if he permits it. Satan is a long way from having retired from the business of deluding and ruining God’s children if he can. At every milestone it is well to look carefully to the thermometer of one’s experience, to see whether the temperature is well up.

Sometimes a person can, if he will, actually snatch victory from the very jaws of defeat, if he will resolutely put his faith up at just the right moment.

Faith can change any situation. No matter how dark it is, no matter what the trouble may be, a quick lifting of the heart to God in a moment of real, actual faith in Him, will alter the situation in a moment.

God is still on His throne, and He can turn defeat into victory in a second of time, if we really trust Him.

“God is mighty! He is able to deliver;
Faith can victor be in every trying hour;
Fear and care and sin and sorrow be defeated
By our faith in God’s almighty, conquering power.

“Have faith in God, the sun will shine,
Though dark the clouds may be today;
His heart has planned your path and mine,
Have faith in God, have faith alway.”

“When one has faith, one does not retire; one stops the enemy where he finds him.”
—Marshal Foch