The Christian has every reason to take God’s over-arching control as reassurance. The promises cited yesterday are for him. At night, with the psalmist he can say, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Ps. 4:8). I do not say Christians are exempt from sickness, sorrow, pain or death. These things happen to all flesh. I do not say God must keep His own from the impacts of the pandemic. I do say, God alone will cause him to dwell in safety.
I reminded my mother of this truth as she lay barely breathing on her death bed. I said, “Mom, you are safe…. Something wonderful is about to happen to you, and you are in His Hands, and perfectly safe.” I spoke of course of her soul, that indestructible person who for now inhabited a dying body but would soon arise a magnificent immortal. “In peace,” she could “lay down and sleep,” for Christ has made her “dwell in safety.”
This is the great and ultimate assurance of every believer: “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Cor. 4:6).
To the unbelieving Jesus sternly preached, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt.10:28). The Christian has learned this second fear, and found in that repentance God’s response of Love, erasing all fear… “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” (1 John 4:18).
Paul took this larger view… this viewpoint from eternity, and from it he could see… could proclaim, “… our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor. 4:17).
Our brother Joseph Irwin shared with us several scriptures of promise this past Sunday. Among them he directed us to Psalm 91. I include it here in its entirety:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 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. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. (Ps. 91:1-16).