You have probably figured out by now, especially if you watch the news, that you cannot count on the people and the environment around you always being safe.
I made a personal decision a long time ago to stop watching the news because of the fear it brought along with it. Steve, my husband, tells me what I have to know for the purpose of prayer, but that’s it.
Everyone has to know themselves and I knew if I continued to fill my brain with all the bad things happening in the world, it would affect my level of confidence and my ability to stay sensitive to the Spirit.
Everyone is different so I’m certainly not telling you to stop watching the news. I just encourage you to pay attention to how it affects you. Does it cause you to be more fearful, depressed or hopeless? It was doing that to me and I am not even a person that is prone to depression. I am normally real positive and bubbly so I knew I had to make a change.
If we can’t always trust the people and the environment around us, then who can we trust? God – that’s who! We can trust God completely.
Check out this awesome verse:
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. (AMPC)
I want to go through this verse piece by piece so we don’t just read it and move on. I feel it needs to make a deeper impression in our hearts since we are discussing God’s protection in this post. So lets just take our time.
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you
This is powerful. We are accompanied by the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God at all times. Wow!
Here is what that means:
Omnipotent – having very great or unlimited authority or power.
Omniscient – having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding
Omnipresent – present everywhere at the same time
Our God has unlimited authority and power, complete knowledge, awareness and understanding and is everywhere at the same time. Certainly no amount of worrying on our part or figuring out how we can keep ourselves safe would be able to outweigh God’s ability, might and power to protect us. We serve an all powerful God Who does more than just protect us. He Himself is our protection!
Do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God.
This part of the verse reminds us that we have two choices. We can choose to walk around panic-stricken, discouraged and distressed or we can remember that He is our God, keeping in mind that we just talked about how all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present our God is. He can do anything. Nothing is impossible for Him!
I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with my [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.
Here we see that we will be strengthened by God, helped by Him, upheld by Him and retained by Him. Retained means to keep possession of so God is keeping possession of us.
If He is keeping possession of us than that means He will NOT let us go.
So the truth of the matter is, we have a choice to walk in fear and unbelief or to trust that God’s Word is true. I choose God’s Word! I choose God’s promises about how He is protecting me and my family.
There are a lot more promises in the Bible regarding this subject in addition to Isaiah 41:10. I encourage you to memorize a few of them on this particular subject so they can become settled in your heart with use and over time. They are so easy to find. Just google Bible verses about God’s protection and there you go!
Here are a few I have memorized. I turned this one in Psalm 91 into a confession and speak it over myself and my family:
Yes, because God’s our refuge, the high God our very own home, evil can’t get close to us, harm can’t get through the door. He will order His angels to guard us wherever we go. (from Psalm 91:9-11 MSG)
Instead of being fearful wherever we go of what someone might suddenly do, I encourage you to walk around remembering that God Almighty goes with you everywhere you go. This will cause you to walk with a real sense of confidence every step you take.
Just days after one of the horrible shootings took place, which Steve told me about so I could be praying, we were grocery shopping. I started to send my girls about 20 feet away to get some bananas for me while I was collecting other fruit.
My first thought was, “Oh my gosh, maybe I better not let them get that far from me. After all, what if someone tried to do something dangerous and I wasn’t with them to protect them.”
Thankfully, my second thought was, “I can’t place my trust in myself to protect my kids. If I go around feeling like the job is on my shoulders, I will be stressed out to the max. I have to trust God to protect them. He is here with us, He walked in with us and He is with us everywhere we go.”
Here is another confession I often speak over my life:
No weapon formed against me shall prosper, but every tongue that rises against me in judgement I shall show to be in the wrong. This is my peace, righteousness, security and triumph over opposition and is my heritage because I am a servant of the Lord. This is the righteousness or the vindication which I obtain from The Lord. This is that which He imparts to me as my justification. (from Isaiah 54:17)
The other day the story of Sodom and Gomorrah came to me and how God sent His angels to save Lot and his family before destroying those cities. When the men of the city became angry at Lot, they started to attack him. But here is what verses 10 & 11 of Genesis 19 say happened when these men tried to attack Lot.
10 But the two men inside (angels) reached out, pulled Lot back into the house, and shut the door. 11 Then they struck all the men outside with blindness, so that they couldn’t find the door. (GNT)
I just think that is so cool! I truly believe if God sent angels to protect Lot like that, He would do it for us as well. I think about God’s ability to protect my family often so when God brought that story of Lot to my remembrance the other day, I started imagining an angel picking someone up and moving them out of the way, if need be, to protect me.
Your imagination is powerful and you can choose to use it for good or evil. One way to use it for good is by purposely sitting around and imagining God and His greatness. I do it all the time and I encourage you to do it too!
My husband Steve and I talk to our girls about God’s protection. When they are going through fears, we pray with them and encourage them that everything is going to be fine. We remind them that we are protected in every way through the finished work of the cross and nobody will ever be able to harm us.
If anyone ever tried, I tell my girls I believe God would protect us in some way, even if it meant that person/those people dropping dead right there on the spot. I’m not kidding. I believe this with all my heart. God is all powerful and He is MY GOD!
Someone may say, well that is a little overboard Sandra. I mean we are not guaranteed of anything, but I am not going to sit around and imagine the worst in life. I am believing for the best and that includes God’s protection. What we believe is powerful and it makes a difference.
If we are not careful, we can start believing more in the devil’s ability to harm us than in God’s ability to save us from harm.
Now, I am not saying there isn’t wisdom that comes into play here as well because there certainly is.
My daughter Starr asked me a great question a few months ago. She said, “Mom, if you believe that nobody will ever harm us and that we will always be protected, why do we lock our doors and why do you watch us so closely when we go outside?”
That was an awesome question and here is how I answered it:
I said, “Even though I fully believe what I have told you, there are still principles of wisdom that we can walk in.” I then gave her a few examples.
I also like how my Mom replied when I told her about Starr’s question. She said, “One of the ways God does protect us is through the wisdom He leads us to walk in.” That is so true!
No matter who it is and how grounded they are in the Word, we all get attacked with fear sometimes. A few weeks ago Steve and I went on a marriage getaway and the day before we left I had this panic-stricken thought.
What if something happens to the girls while we are gone? The devil was attacking my mind with this thought. I had the same thought maybe two or three times and said to myself, time to pray over this.
I went to my husband and he agreed with me in prayer. First we bound up the spirit of fear that was attacking me, loosed a spirit of peace and then just prayed and believed that we would all be protected and come back together safely.
As a result of praying and believing that God heard our prayer, that was the end of it for me. I did not fight any more fearful thoughts the whole trip, but instead felt certain that we were all being protected!
When I write a blog post, especially one of this nature, I like to come at the subject from various angles because I realize that people have different experiences in life.
I am well aware that there are people, and quite a number of them, who have gone through situations and even tragedies that have left them with questions.
I wouldn’t dream of telling someone who has been involved in a tragic situation that they didn’t have enough faith and that is why they went through what they did. It’s very uncool when Christians say this kind of stuff to other Christians who are writhing in pain.
I think we try to give all the answers sometimes and end up causing people more pain instead of simply being a comfort in their time of need. Sometimes we have a hard time just saying, You know what, I don’t understand why that happened and I can’t explain it.
Even if we can’t fit an answer into the slot where we think it should go, that’s ok.
This is a very important topic because I do believe when a person wants an answer and doesn’t have one, far too often in an effort to come up with an answer, they then come to the conclusion that God must’ve caused or permitted this bad situation or tragedy in their own life or someone else’s life for a higher purpose.
I am not ok with people treating God like this.
Now, let me clarify that I do realize that many people believe this way because they’ve been taught this. They simply don’t know any different.
But I have great news for you, that is not God’s nature! I will be a defender of God’s true nature for as long as I live.
Maybe this will help. This verse settled the whole issue for me:
Jesus himself said:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. – John 10:10 (NASB)
We live in a fallen world and we have an enemy (the thief). We can’t explain everything, but I believe with all my heart that:
God is good and He does only good things.
The devil is bad and he does only bad things.
And anytime the devil does manage to attack us, if we keep trusting God, He will turn everything around and work it together for our good.
When a person is hurting, they don’t need us to try to solve their problems anyway. They need us to listen, be compassionate and support them in prayer and in other ways that we are led to be a support.
A couple, who are friends of ours, went through a terrible tragedy almost 4 years ago. I asked them if I could use their story to help others who have had questions.
Mary Ann loved babies and all she ever wanted to do when she grew up was get married and have babies. She waited for her prince charming, James, who is very good to her. One year and one week after their beautiful wedding Mary Ann’s dream of having a baby was coming true, or so she thought.
Everything was going along great with the pregnancy until her 16 week appointment. They found out they were having a girl – that was great news. But they also found out after having an ultrasound that something was wrong with their baby.
After an amniocentesis was performed the doctor told them their baby girl had Triploidy. Triploidy is a disorder that arises at conception when a baby starts life in the womb with a complete extra set of chromosomes. Most people have two sets of 23 chromosomes, making 46 in all. Babies with triploidy have an entire extra set of chromosomes, making 69 in all.
Actually, for their daughter to even still be alive at 20 weeks (the time of the amnio), was amazing. So James and Mary Ann started calling many of their friends, including us, telling their story and asking for everyone to agree with them for a miracle. When I interviewed Mary Ann in preparation for this blog post, she said, “We totally believed Aubrey would be healed.” I did too. I remember getting the call and thinking, that is no problem for God.
Sadly though, at 26 weeks, James and Mary Ann found out their beautiful little girl had passed. In the midst of their heavy grief, they had to go to the hospital immediately for Mary Ann to be induced and give birth to Aubrey.
She was in a high level of danger herself due to the situation. In fact, the doctor had an operating room on hold, thinking for sure that he would need it to save Mary Ann’s life. But she told me she had an easy delivery and this usually never happens in cases like hers.
Things were happening so fast that her and James were basically in shock. They were being asked many questions but it was hard to make decisions because they felt numb.
It wasn’t until after Aubrey was born that it really hit Mary Ann. She said she cried for days. She said this about their loss, One of the worst feelings ever is leaving the hospital without your baby, knowing that you can never go back and pick your baby up.
They had a memorial service at their church. I remember attending. That was hard. Mary Ann said she couldn’t even go to the burial site. She just couldn’t.
I asked her about the emotional pain she went through during their loss and she said she told one of the pastors at their church this; I never wanted to be this woman. I never wanted to lose my child. He and his wife knew this pain well. They had also lost a son in a car accident at the age of 18 months.
We were all delighted to hear that James and Mary Ann became pregnant just 7 weeks after their loss. This helped ease their pain and they were thankful to God for this blessing much sooner than they even expected.
When a person is hurting and even struggling with questions for God, as Mary Ann was, God meets them right where they are. He did something special for her one day. Here is what happened in Mary Ann’s own words.
About 5 months after Aubrey had passed away, James & I were listening to Close Encounters of the God Kind. (this is the true story of Jesse Duplantis being taken to heaven) Jesse was talking about this room in heaven where all the babies were at- every miscarried, still born or aborted baby. Angels were teaching the children and they were happy; however, they still longed for/wanted their mothers. They could not wait till their parents were with them in heaven. That moved me so much since Aubrey was a still born. What he spoke just took that weight away. I knew she loved me. She was waiting for me. She wanted me just as much as I wanted/always will want her.
This October 30th Aubrey would have been 4 years old, so time has brought healing, as well as counseling and prayer.
Mary Ann says she still struggles with her faith sometimes, but as time goes by, she continues to get a little more understanding and peace. She still has questions sometimes, but she knows it is going to be ok.
She has a tough time trusting God sometimes, especially in the area of protection over her babies (she has two boys now!), but deep down inside she said she knows it is going to be ok.
Mary Ann went through an array of emotions over losing her baby girl – emotions including feeling like she didn’t have enough faith, hadn’t prayed enough, that her faith was somehow wrong or even that maybe she was being punished for past sins.
She knows now that none of this is true and James and Mary Ann have become stronger people through their pain. She named a few of the ways that God has strengthened them.
- Their marriage has been strengthened
- The devil tried to make Mary Ann hate God, but he didn’t succeed
- She has more of a personal relationship with God now (a special bond) she didn’t have before
- James says he now has more of a confidence that God won’t abandon him in his time of need
- Through their pain, both James and Mary Ann have made the choice that they will believe God’s Word, no matter what.
Although everything in life certainly doesn’t turn out the way we expect it will, we can’t afford to have a wishy-washy view on God’s desire to protect us. It is critical that we walk with confidence in this area. This confidence comes through many avenues, one of the most important being, renewing our mind with the promises in God’s Word.
Then, for the seasons in life that we don’t understand, we can know that God’s grace will be there in abundance to carry us through. We can trust that God, although He doesn’t personally cause or allow our suffering, will take all the pieces of our life, even the pieces that have had the sharpest edges, and fit them together for the good according to Romans 8:28.
I have an awesome update to report on James and Mary Ann’s Family! They are now coming up on 8 years since Aubrey’s passing and look what a beautiful family God has given them!
They had 3 boys and then, just 11 months ago, they had another little girl! (plus they have Aubrey waiting for them in heaven)!
James and Mary Ann could have handled Aubrey’s death so many other ways than how they chose to handle it. They could have just curled up on the side of the road of life and stopped trusting God completely. They could have blamed God. They could have been angry at God. They could’ve responded in a variety of ways, but do you remember what Mary Ann said during her interview with me 4 years ago when I initially published this post?
- Through our pain, both James and I have made the choice that we will believe God’s Word, no matter what.
This was an incredibly powerful choice they made and it’s one of the main reasons I wanted to post this update – so you could be encouraged in the midst of your own hardships.
God is faithful. God is faithful. God. Is. faithful!
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!