Psalm 91:2 - I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
You are invulnerable! If only I could believe that were true! If only I had skin of steel and super powers coursing through my veins, then I would be invulnerable. I could leap tall buildings in a single bound! I could take on all comers, certain of victory no matter what the odds. If only it were true, then my sleep would be sweet, and my days would be safe from all deadly harm. If only it were true, then I would have no fear.
But I know better.
Yet, the psalmist declares that you are invulnerable, not in the likeness of some self-trusting superhero but trusting and resting in the shadow of the Almighty (see Psalm 91:1). Though fear, mortal danger, and destruction arise and surround you on every side, the one who holds fast to the Lord in love —that one shall the Lord deliver. "A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you" (Psalm 91:7). When you call to the Lord for deliverance, He will answer you and rescue you by His guardian angels, honor you and satisfy you with long life and salvation (see Psalm 91:15-16). Yes, in the Lord's shadow, there and there alone, you are invulnerable.
But, "Wait a minute!" you say, have not Christians around the world and throughout history suffered horribly at the hands of the wicked? Yes, they have. Did not Paul give us a long litany of his sufferings for the sake of Christ? Yes, he did: imprisonments, countless beatings, stoned, shipwrecked, in danger from rivers, robbers, the Jews and Gentiles, danger in the city, in the wilderness, in hunger, in thirst, cold and exposure (see 2 Corinthians 11:23-27). So where is this great invulnerability the psalmist writes of? Why didn't the guardian angels of God protect Paul just as God promised? They did ... but not in the way you are thinking.
Jesus said, "Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). In Christ Jesus your soul is safe from all harm even as your body is exposed to the mortal dangers of this world. In Christ Jesus you are invulnerable, eternally secure, joy-filled, forgiven, redeemed, and awaiting the resurrection of the body and the dawn of a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness (see 2 Peter 3:13). No man, no threat, no condition, and no danger are able to snatch you from the hand of Christ Jesus. This is why Paul glories in his sufferings for Christ, knowing that nothing in heaven or earth, no fire, no sword, no pain or poverty can ever separate him from the love of Christ. Though discipleship in Christ cost Paul everything he owns, yet, unshaken, his inheritance in the Lord makes him invulnerable to all the dangers he faced below.
It was true for Paul, and it's true for you and for me. No fear! No fear!
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, as I walk in the footsteps of Christ before me, teach me to live my life in no fear of earthly danger for I am Yours and You are mine. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Mark Schreiber.
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