Guarded [Day 8]
Updated: Dec 11, 2022
After watching a video of these young adults making a case for why they declare themselves as satanists; it had actually reminded me of my own testimony. I never really believed in satan, prior to knowing Jesus actually, I just chose not to believe in anything. But the similarities to their "anti-God" debate was familiar.
I even wrote it in my salvation testimony: why should I believe in God if it seems like He doesn't even care that people are suffering? All these bad things are happening to these innocent people, and nothing is being done about it...why would I get behind that? I get it. And if you're reading this and don't believe in God; I get it. I'm glad you're here. I'm not trying to convince you, it's just on my heart to share what I know, because I was you.
Bad things do happen to good people. Good things do happen to bad people. It's not fair, it's not easy to watch, it's horrifying in some cases; but here's what God told me: He intentionally created us with the ability to choose, to have free will. Stick with me:
When Adam was in the garden (before Eve was created) this is what happened:
"And the Lord God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.'” Genesis 2:16-17
Father God, didn't say "if you eat from it", He said "when you eat from it". God already knew Adam and Eve were going to eat the fruit and let sin into the world and screw the whole thing up. "So why didn't God stop them?" I'm glad you asked. Because what is love without a choice? The Lord God is not a dictator or a tyrant in the sky, as some believe (or as I believed). He truly loves us, and thus gives us a choice in all that we do. He doesn't want your obligation He wants your heart.
So to answer the question, why do bad things happen to good people, and vice versa? Because we all have a choice, free will. And Father God is not looking down at us waiting for one of us to mess up so He can destroy us or condemn us and make us feel like we're nothing; no, He's giving us grace to come to Him, to accept His offer of salvation and true freedom, and to walk away from that which we already know doesn't satisfy us: sin.
In the meantime, this salvation and freedom is still available for murderers, rapists, terrorists, thieves, abusers, manipulators, liars, the person who cheated on you, the one who broke your heart; God's love is available to everyone. No one is unredeemable. That is the heart of God; otherwise we would all be dead, even those who believe, because all sin is detestable to God.
But in His goodness He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins; so that when Father God looks at us, He doesn't see our sin or our mistakes or our shame, He sees our hearts and actively pursues us for it. God loves the world in this way.
Would you sacrifice your child, or sibling, or parent, or best friend, or yourself, for anyone else? Let alone for people who might not even care? Probably not, but this is the highest form of love. Sacrificing your life for someone else. This was done for you, so that you can made free not be stuck in bondage.
Not to continue on this rant, but with all the misinformation out there, leading to some really dark and horrendous places (depression, suicide, etc.) I need to share this:
Coming to God doesn't guarantee life won't have pain or suffering. It does mean everything that was never yours to carry: depression, crippling anxiety, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, all of that gets lifted off of you, if you let God take it from you. How? Repentance and surrender. Repent: turn away from the things you rely on to help you get through life, you know by now it hasn't helped you, or given you a permanent fix. Admit that, and surrender to Jesus; declare Him as the One you need to help you and guide you throughout your life.
Listen, loved ones will still die, tragedies will still happen. Coming to Jesus doesn't even guarantee you'll understand every single thing in your life. It does mean that your pain, your heartbreak, your suffering, your existence will have purpose. It will not be in vain. Everything you've been through (even before coming to God) and all that you will go through in life will be made into testimonies. Your experiences will help grow you, and others, in ways you never thought possible; and that is why it's worth it.
Thank you for making is this far, let's get into our breakdown for today:
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Psalms 91:11-12 NIV
For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. Psalms 91:11-12 NLT
For he will give his angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways. They will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Psalms 91:11-12 CSB
For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. Psalms 91:11-12 NKJV
For He will command His angels in regard to you, To protect and defend and guard you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They will lift you up in their hands, So that you do not [even] strike your foot against a stone. Psalms 91:11-12 AMP
If we as believers in God, still get hurt in this life, than what is this verse telling us? I've absolutely struck my toe against many hard objects before, so what's the deal?
The Lord will defend and guard you in all your ways, under His protection. In other words, when we are inside the boundaries the Lord has set for us, we are safe; untouchable and guarded in all our ways. We will be equipped, provided for, protected with angels encamped around us when it comes to doing God's will. We won't even strike our foot against a stone when we are serving the Lord and walking in obedience.
I think it's interesting this is the verse the devil quoted to tempt Jesus. And when I first read that chapter, I thought it seemed obvious it wouldn't work. But truly, every word in the Bible is intentional. It was placed there for us, because how many times do we fall for it? Especially today.
As believers, we can easily get deceived into becoming entitled. We think "why did God let this happen?" or "why didn't God do more to warn me?" or "why didn't God protect me from this?"; because WE were outside His will for us. Because WE were walking in disobedience; because WE rushed in and moved before God spoke. Because WE were not doing the Lord's work or serving the Lord in that area; so God will not bless it.
He isn't obligated to divinely intervene whenever we choose to go our own way; otherwise, it wouldn't be much of a choice. Instead we should seek Him, and wait for Him to respond. (Side note: I'm still learning, and have failed more than once, to get the waiting part right, so don't feel bad or discouraged; it's easy for some, but it takes many trials and countless errors for others, like yours truly.)
But I can't recall one time, that I was in God's will and felt beaten down, broken, exhausted, insecure, depressed, anxious, and/or burdened in any way. The Lord has always been faithful and is faithful to provide all that we need: for His will. He loves us way too much to let us comfortably live in anything He didn't assign for us.
- Challenge -
I don't have a challenge for today, my friends, because I haven't lived this out yet. I'm still allowing this to marinate in my heart. So, if you'd like you can continue a challenge from a prior devotional, or wait for tomorrow's. ♡
- Closing Prayer -
Father God, we thank You for who You are. We thank You for your faithfulness, we thank You because being faithful is not just what You do, but it's who You are. We thank You Lord for keeping us in every season of life, Lord God. We thank You for camping next to us in our lowest points. We thank You for Your goodness. Lord God we thank You for being so good that You would turn our disobedience into a testimony, Lord. We thank You for not leaving us the same as how we came to You.
I thank You for those reading, I thank You for the work You are doing in each of our lives and in our hearts. I pray that You have Your way on this site and through the words I type, Lord God, so that it would all be a reflection of You and used to glorify and exalt You, my Heavenly Father. I pray for the hearts that are crying out for a Savior, Lord God, I pray that You reveal Yourself to them and comfort them. I pray that You reveal who You created them to be Lord God. I pray that all pride and failures would fall away, so that all that's left is a heart ready to praise and worship You Lord God.
I pray for all those in need, that You would reveal Your will to them, Father God, so that they may receive all that they need to successfully carry out their assignments. I pray that those searching for answers, that they would be given Your wisdom and understanding, Father God. I pray those seeking to be loved and comforted, that You would pour out Your love and peace and grace upon them, Lord God, as You pull them closer into Your presence. I pray for everyone's families and their loved ones; that they all come to know You Lord God and also receive Your blessings.
I pray for this holiday season, that those who are hurting or wounded, would encounter You Lord God, in these times of sorrow. For blessed are those who mourn, for they will comforted. I pray that You send angels to fight on their behalf, and that their hearts would be softened to come to You for refuge, Father God.
I pray this in Jesus' mighty name. Amen.