Monday, November 9, 2015

“From, Out of, In”

     Scripture promises the protection of God to those who trust and submit themselves to Him.  "The Lord preserveth the faithful" (Psalm 31:23).  He administers His protection, however, in various ways of keeping and preservation.

     Sometimes God protects us by keeping us from experiencing difficulty.  "Thou shalt preserve me from trouble" (Psalm 32:7).

     Sometimes He protects us by delivering us out of difficulty.  "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and delivered him out of all this troubles" (Psalm 34:6).

    Finally, our Heavenly Father sometimes protects us by delivering us in difficulty.  "Lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:7-9).

    We all desire to be kept from trouble, and let us give thanks for the times our Lord barred the door in order to prevent enemies from entering.  Many we know about, and many more likely approached without our ever knowing that jeopardy threatened our well being.  As we walk with the Lord, He answers many of our prayers for protection in this most basic and obvious manner of preservation "from trouble".

    Our Heavenly Father also protects us by sometimes allowing trouble to cross the threshold of our lives for the purpose of leading us to seek His extrication and deliverance.  Every believer can testify to times when challenge led us to cry for help, and more importantly, when we discovered God's willingness and ability to overcome and banish enemies already in the camp.  Many of our testimonies involve solutions to problems, provision for needs, deliverance from difficulty, and the grateful realization that "the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry" (Psalm 34:15).

    The most challenging means of God's protection involves His deliverance in the very presence of trouble.  As with the Apostle Paul, our Lord sometimes administers grace rather than the removal of thorns.  Difficulty approaches our doorstep, crosses the threshold, and painfully abides with us.  Indeed, it may appear that the Lord is not protecting us at all.  "Lord, why castest off my soul?  Why hidest Thou Thy face from me?" (Psalm 88:14).  Trouble may keep us from pride.  It may correct wayward steps.  It may teach us Truth that reveals the heart and way of God that ultimately provides greater deliverance than mere extrication from difficulty.  Indeed, trouble may sometimes be God's protection, a hard reality to fathom and accept, but a necessary reality nevertheless.  Without the thorn, Paul testified that he might well have been "exalted above measure".  Thus, the painful and bloody prick kept our brother as the protecting and preserving hand of our Heavenly Father.

   Sometimes from, sometimes out of, sometimes in.  The Lord's keeps His promise to protect us in accordance with the glory of the Lord Jesus, our best interests, and the needs of those to whom we minister Christ.   We can trust Him in all, and we will one day fully realize the truth of God's faithfulness that preserved us in the perfection of His love, His wisdom, and His way.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
(Psalm 46:1)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
(Psalm 46:1)

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