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Pointers along the way #192

Living in fear?
- Jacob Ninan

Calamities! This is what we hear about from all the media reports, and it is no wonder that we are tempted to get scared of what can happen to us. We figure out that if such things are happening constantly our turn cannot be far away. But this logic is all wrong because we have not factored God into our picture. He has promised us that even if calamities are striking all around us, He is going to protect us (Ps.91:1-7). He is making a distinction between us and the people around us, because we have made Him our refuge (v.9). Many things may happen to others, but He will see to it that nothing touches us. We can believe that.

Jesus said that many calamities are going to take place in the world in the end times, and that people are going to get scared of what is likely to happen to them (Lk.21:26). But not we, because we have the Lord as our refuge. We don't have to fear even when all we can see on the TV and in the newspapers is one calamity after another. God says that even if ten thousand may fall at our side we don't have to be afraid. That's because God has made us His own, and has taken the responsibility of watching over us without even dozing off a bit (Ps.121:4)! Jesus said in connection with the end times that not even a hair on our head will be harmed (Lk.21:18).

How does this actually work, especially when we know Job and other godly men in our days also who have actually suffered calamities? Didn't Jesus also say that in this world we would have trouble and that some of us may even get killed for His name (Jn.16:33;Lk.21:16)?

The fact is that trouble is the exception rather than the rule. As a rule, God watches over us to protect us from all harm. But once in a while He allows some trouble to come across our path in order to test us or to train us (Jas.1:2,3;1Pe.1:6,7). Satan has to get permission from God to touch us. But God keeps His hand on the control so that things do not become too hard for us (1Co.10:13). Even when He allows us at times to suffer hardship, He will make sure that it will finally produce some good result for us (Ro.8:28). Even if we feel that the floods are getting to go over us or the fire is becoming too hot, we can be sure that He is there with us, holding us in His arms and keeping everything under control (Is.43:12). When we go through tough times along with Him, He will cause us to become more like Him and have better fellowship with Him.

But times of special hardship are usually rare for children of God. He watches over more lovingly and carefully than any earthly father. God does have some special people like Job who are taken through real trouble. But that too happens only for a finite period. We can look to the future with confidence in our Father. He is planning for our well being and prosperity and not for calamity (Je.29:11). We don't have to live in fear as if some calamity is just around the corner! That kind of idea is from the devil, and he is known to be a liar. When God is with us, why should we fear?