He is the Rock; his work is perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; How just and upright he is! —And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.—To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.—And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.—No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold… I will call on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies.—“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”—My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever…. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
Deut.32:4 NLT; Mt. 11:6 ESV; Eph.6:16 ESV; Ps. 25:1-2 ESV; Mt.6:13 ESV; I Cor.10:13 ESV; Ps.18:2 NLT; Gen.15:1 NKJV; Ps. 73:26, 28 ESV
God’s ways are perfect, always just and fair, never wrong. But oh how easy it is to take offense at them, especially if I was hoping that my commitment to His ways would guarantee me a life free of crises. Alas, bad things happen to faithful servants. That’s when the darts fly, flaming darts insinuating that perhaps God is not to be trusted. Is He really just and good? Why then do His servants suffer so? Why must a quadriplegic also suffer pain, and even cancer? That seems so unfair, so unkind. Why must a dedicated missionary friend get a brain tumor? And another develop a life-threatening heart condition?
And if these faithful servants are not exempt how can I be certain I will not face things as bad or worse? What does it mean that God is my protection, my Rock, my Refuge if I am not actually guaranteed protection from danger and disease, from injury and cancer, from lifelong struggle in this body?
The short but hard-won answer is found in Asaph’s words in Psalm 73. I paraphrase: God is with us–He Himself is our portion forever. It is good to be near God. What else matters?
I’m pondering these things as I confront my own fears and false confidences. My flesh and my heart may indeed fail me, but God will not. To Him I lift up my soul.