Safe?

Safe?

A young lady meekly asked this question, “If I pray and ask God to keep me safe, will he?”  What a blunt, loaded, and honest question. How would you answer it?  There are many sides to this question and I would imagine that you would want to give a complete answer to her struggle.  You only have a few minutes before she gets lost in too much information.  If we are honest, we struggle with the same question and so our answer, because we are caught on the spot, might be a little fuzzy.  Here are a few pointers to help you begin your answer and maybe begin to clear up some of the fuzzies.
First of all, the quickest way to answer the question would be that, yes, God does keep us safe.  He is our God who is always in complete and utter control of every situation and moment in our lives.  Matt 10 assures us that a bird does not fall to the earth without God being in control.  He even knows how many hairs are on our head.  Not only is God in control of all things, but Matt 7 assures us that he is a good father who always gives us good things.  James 1 assures us that all good and perfect gifts come from him.  So, if he is in control of all things, at all times, and he promises to give good gifts, then we can be assured that all things that come into our lives are good.  He gives good gifts because of his great love for us.  God’s love is so amazing that we can barely know it (Eph 3).  None of our definitions or examples of love are full enough to allow us to fully know the love of God.  His love for us is so deep and so wide that it will take us all of eternity to learn of it.  Eternity is a very long time and it is our future.  We must live with an eternal perspective which allows us to see all things as good gifts from our good Father.
That is the beginning of the correct answer to her question.  Let’s continue, listen to Psalm 103:2,3,  “Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases”.  This verse begins to demonstrate the gist of her question.  God will keep us safe.  The greatest example of keeping us safe is that the forgives our sins.  He also promises to heal all our diseases. Keeping eternity in mind, we realize that, one day, we will all be healed.  Whether it is here or there.  But that little statement also speaks to her question.  In order to be healed of our diseases, we must get them first.  So if her question is, and I would guess that it is, will God keep me from getting sick, getting hurt, or from experiences some of the pains of living in a fallen world?  The answer to that is “no”.  Christians, just like everyone else living in a fallen world, will be effected by the pains brought on by the curse on sin.  We will experience broken arms just like everyone else.  But God promises that all that happens to us is for our good and for his glory and therefore that broken arm is not just a random, unsupervised event in our lives.  It is a good gift from God.
The key to beginning to understand the answer to her great question is the word safe.  She chose a great word.  We may experience some of the pain and sorrows of living in this sin soaked world, but we are never out of God’s care.  We are forever safe in his arms.  Nothing happens that he is not in complete control.  He protects us in ways we may never know.  We may never know all the car accidents that he shielded us from.  We may never fully realize all of the diseases that God removed from our bodies.  For men in battle, they may never know the number of bullets that God redirected.  When he does bring, what we believe is a bad thing into our lives, he does it with eternity in mind and he shouts his grace and mercy to us in the pain. He brings that pain into our lives as a good gift.  So, yes, young lady, God will always keep you safe.
Jesus, God’s son, was always safe.  His life, suffering, and death was the greatest good gift ever known to man.  His resurrection assures us that God always is working his eternal plan.  His resurrection assures us that we are always safe in his arms.  The pain in Jesus life was part of the eternal plan and was necessary and good to accomplish that plan.  The pain in our lives also has purpose and is also accomplishing God’s plan in our lives.  It is never random or luck of the draw.  It is a good gift from a good Father who forever and always keeps us safe.

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