Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I recently read the prayer of Jesus for his disciples in John 17. One phrase stood out. "I pray that you would protect them from the evil one." This is a prayer I can pray fully for my child. While I'd like to pray "Protect him from injury, accident, pain, heartbreak and stupidity," that would not necessarily be in the will of God.

Elisabeth Elliot's* comments on this subject today are worth considering:
How do we reconcile God's promises for protection with the fact that so many evil things do happen in our lives? Can we believe God for protection?

This question comes up often, and no wonder, since there are many promises in the Bible about protection, including (especially in the Old Testament) physical protection. We must be careful to interpret Scripture with Scripture, and if we examine the record we find that God did not by any means always protect His people from harm. He has absolute power to keep us safe, both physically and spiritually, but His engineering of the universe made room for man's freedom to choose--that is, freedom to will to obey or to disobey Him. This is a deep mystery. Man's disobedience brought evil into the world, and all of us are subject to it. God does not cancel out its effects, even for His choicest servants (John the Baptist, Stephen, those nameless victims of Hebrews 11:35-37, for example).

Nevertheless, we have the promises. Romans 8:35-39 is one of my most reread passages. I believe we can rest assured that we are invulnerable so long as God does not give permission for us to be hurt. If He gives that permission, He will not leave us alone. He goes with us through the valley, the deep water, the furnace. He will never, absolutely never, leave us or forsake us.
And that means I can rest, reassured. God loves him more than I can ever imagine and that's better than life.

*excerpt from Keep a Quiet Heart

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