Tuesday, August 18, 2015

“Safe In the Haven”

     In our present existence, safety does not preclude the absence of danger or trouble, but rather the presence of God in the midst of our challenges -  "Safety is of the Lord" (Proverbs 21:31).

    Our Heavenly Father will one day deliver His trusting sons and daughters in Christ to an environment wherein no jeopardy exists.  "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, nor any more pain, for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:4).  This is not that day.  This is rather the day of "safety" often being defined by our Lord'"very present help in trouble" rather than the absence of difficulty (Psalm 46:1).  We live our lives as soldiers on an active battlefield whereupon enemies are allowed to threaten and attack.  "There are many adversaries" declared the Apostle Paul of his life and ministry lived amidst continual challenge (I Corinthians 16:9).  Moreover, those challenges led to mockings, rejections, woundings, batterings, imprisonments, and ultimately, Paul's martyrdom.  Let us, however,  consider the question - was Paul safe?   The resounding answer, from his own words, proclaims that our brother of old was "hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3)  That, my brothers and sisters, is safe.  Storms raged all around the Apostle.  He felt them all in his earthly frame, mind, and emotions.  However, nothing confronted Paul that did not find his heart safe in the Haven of hiddenness, safe in the Lord Jesus.  

    Presently, safety sometimes means that God delivers us from danger.  And sometimes it means He delivers us in danger.  While the former rescue is certainly more appealing to our senses, the latter may be more affirming to our spirits.  Indeed, which actuality requires the greatest measure of our Lord's glory and working on our behalf?  The keeping of our hearts in danger surely displays more of the risen Christ than mere extrication from threat and trouble.  The path is much more difficult, of course, but it is also more graced with the possibility of discovering "the deep things of God" (I Corinthians 2:10).  We learn the power of God's hand when He rescues us from hardship.  We discover the goodness of His heart when He reveals Himself in hardship.  Amid great challenges similar to those experienced by Paul, the Psalmist realized the truth of such security.  We close with his joyous proclamation of the Presence he discovered in and because of danger

"Thou art my hiding place."
(Psalm 32:7)

Weekly Memory Verse
   I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, for Thou Lord only makest me dwell in safety. 
(Psalm 4:8)

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