Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Safety, Presently Defined"

     God's Word promises protection for His trusting children in Christ, we pray for it, and the Lord often acts in accordance with the normal expectations of the assurance and the request.

    "Whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil… Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe" (Proverbs 1:33: 29:25).

     Seemingly unsafe things nevertheless happen to believers.  "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).  How do we reconcile this reality with the aforementioned promises and requests?  The answer lies in God's perspective and purposes.  He acts with an eye and a heart toward our eternal benefit and well being.  He determines to conform us to the spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus Christ, a goal that requires not only the pleasant, but also the painful (Romans 8:29).  Moreover, He also purposes to bless us with the privilege of leading others to the same holy end.  Of his sufferings, the Apostle Paul declared, "I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which have happened to me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel" (Philippians 1:12).  Finally, our Lord is greatly honored and revealed when His children pass through the flames, but come forth undestroyed and without the smell of smoke upon us as we "glorify the Lord in the fires" (Isaiah 24:15).  In our present life, God's promises of protection primarily involve our heart as He works to reveal His peace and joy therein, regardless of the storms that may rage in circumstance, condition, and situation.  "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).

    "Your life is hid with Christ in God… He is thy life" (Colossians 3:3; Deuteronomy 30:20).  The day will come when our Heavenly Father's promise of protection will involve every aspect of our being, including spirit, soul, body, and environment.  This is not that day.  Presently, our spirits dwell in the inviolable inner sanctum of Christ Himself.  All other components of our being are subject to whatever storm God determines or allows to pass our way for "His eternal purpose in Christ" (Ephesians 3:11).  We are safe in Him, as God presently defines safety in the spiritual and eternal terms that glorify His Son, and work toward the best interest of both ourselves and others.

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.  To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen."
(I Peter 5:10-11)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
(II Peter 1:2)

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