THE LORD’S PROMISE
When the Apostle Paul was in Corinth to preach the gospel, he had the Jews who always followed him to harass him and try to bring works into salvation, but others sought to kill him and so the Lord said to Paul, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people” (Acts 18:9b-10). Since the Lord promised to be with Paul, he could rest in full assurance knowing that he was yet to reach “many in this city who are [God’s] people.”
THE LORD’S PROTECTION
God never promises us happiness or to keep us from sorrow, pain, or suffering, but He does promise that He will return for us to bring us into the kingdom. Just as in the 23rd Psalm, He goes with us through the shadowy valley of death. He doesn’t take us around the valley, under the valley, or over the valley but He promises to go with us through it. That’s our Good Shephard Who reminds us that a shadow of death is not the same as death itself.
THE LORD’S PURPOSES
Years ago I read the account where several missionaries were killed in a remote jungle area by the local people, but then a few years later, the surviving family members went to that same location to try again to share the gospel with a people who didn’t yet know Christ. The result was the Holy Spirit must have softened their hearts because they were receptive to the gospel this time and those who murdered their family members became part of the family of God. God’s purposes are not always easy to see but they are there, whether we see them or not.
THE LORD’S WITH YOU
After Moses had died, Joshua was the new leader chosen by God to lead Israel into the Promised Land, and to reassure Joshua, God told him “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). This meant God would be with Joshua and Israel, at least as long as they lived in obedience to His commands. The same applies to us. God goes with us but if we begin to disobey Him, we can’t have the same confidence that we are in fellowship with God. Our relationship doesn’t change but our fellowship is harmed when we sin and particularly, when we refuse to confess it.
When problems mount up on us, and they do on everyone, the Lord’s promised to be with us, to protect us, to use us, and to never forsake us, so we have no reason to fear if we are a child of God. God our Father wouldn’t allow anything to separate us from Him and the love of God (Rom 8:35).