Luke 10:19 “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Something strikes me as I read this rather famous passage. Even though Jesus said “nothing will harm you,” almost all of the 12 apostles were martyred. These of course were an additional 72, but that still begs the question of your definition of “harm.” I’m reminded of a YouTube video I saw recently of a woman talking about her near-death experience. She said she took God to task for having allowed some really rough experiences in her life, and then He showed her the blessed consequences of those experiences. The thing is, we don’t know the final outcome of anything, with the single exception of our commitment to Jesus Christ. Even then, though we know it will be glorious, we know very few details. I’m reminded of a short passage that struck me in Psalms many years ago. “If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the Lord, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.” (Psalm 91:9-10) At the time, I wrote in the margin, “Whatever it looks like, it isn’t disaster.” Quoting it just now, I see that the Psalmist also used the word “harm,” just as Jesus did. This is closely related to something Paul said: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) This can frankly be a difficult level of faith and peace to maintain. People in Louisiana and vicinity, now heading north and further east, are experiencing a very severe hurricane, and then there’s the continuing situation in Afghanistan. We need to remember Jesus’ words and Paul’s words, particularly when we are in the middle of such circumstances, and know that in Christ we are secure whatever happens to our physical existence.
I’ve never experienced active persecution or even extreme physical danger, but I’ve certainly experienced the Lord’s protection. I won’t go into what happened while I drove from Raleigh to Knoxville as a new driver, back before the Interstate went through! More recently, we went through a very severe typhoon that damaged many surrounding houses, and went out the next morning to find our car surrounded by pieces of broken roof tile from the homes around us, but not a scratch on the car. And our house had no significant roof damage! I am grateful for such protection, but I am not to take it for granted. As I pray for people in the path of the current hurricane, and certainly for the people in Afghanistan, I am to pray God’s protection, but above that I am to pray for His purposes to be fulfilled. As the lady with the NDE was shown, sometimes things that look horrible at the time end up being deep blessings. I am never to dismiss or belittle anyone’s suffering, but I am to seek to help them look to God to gain His perspective, so that they may receive the blessing He intends sooner rather than later, for His glory.
Father, thank You for Your perfect love and Your perfect plan. Thank You for how I see that unfolding in various ways in the lives of people around me. May I trust You fully myself and be a useful agent of Your blessing to others, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!