The Lord will keep up from all harm–he will watch over your life; Psalm 121:7
One desire that every person has is to be safe from all harm. No one likes to be physically harmed in any way. Most will seek to find ways to be safe in whatever they do.
Organizations and governments have set up many different safety regulations to keep people safe from harm. Despite all of the safety regulations, people still get injured in various ways. Many times it is due to lack of following the rules or someone else not following the regulations.
When injury occurs, people strive to find someone to blame for the injury. They often feel the those in authority did not do enough to keep them safe. God is the most common one to be blamed for allowing the injury to occur.
The psalmist writes that God will keep a person from all harm because He is watching over the life of the believer.
Many people have chosen to follow God and believed that no harm would ever come to them. They felt as though God would protect them in every situation. Then, suddenly they get sick or get injured. Now they get angry with God because He did not protect them from harm.
While physical harm is painful, it is only temporary. The worst that physical harm can do to a person is bring about physical death. However, it cannot bring about spiritual death or separation from God.
God is watching over every believer to protect him from spiritual harm. Harm that will destroy his belief in Jesus. Harm that will cause him to turn away from God.
All physical harm will be used by God for the benefit of the believer. He knows that it is only temporary and works for an eternal good. God will protect the soul of the believer.
You can trust that God is watching over your life. He knows what is best for your life. If you allow Him to, He will put a hedge of protection around your soul to protect you from any harm.
This protection may or may not include physical protection, but it protects what is most important–your soul. The body you have is only for temporary use while on this earth. Your soul will last for eternity. After death you will receive a new eternal body.
Do not worry about the physical harm you may receive, but trust God’s protection of your soul. He is watching over you.
I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that you will trust God’s work in your life; that God will remove fear of physical harm; and that you will know the protection God offers your soul.
Divorce is something that is extremely common. One cannot go anywhere without meeting someone who is divorced, in the process of divorce, or thinking about getting a divorce.
Statistics of America state that about 41-50% of all marriages will end in divorce. The average length of a marriage in the United States is seven years.
In the church, the statistics may be slightly lower. Their average can be found at about 38% get divorced or are divorced already.
These statistics are just with first time divorce rates. There are many people who have been divorced more than one time.
The reason for divorce are numerous, but usually stem around the following: infidelity, lack of commitment, conflict or arguing. Many finish with reasons of infidelity, domestic violence, or substance abuse.
With these types of statistics, divorce is a reality in this world. It is something that is found outside and inside the church. Very few people are not touched by divorce in some way or another, either they have been through a divorce or they know someone who has.
Knowing this, I want us to take a look at what the Bible says about divorce.
In the previous posts I looked at what marriage is. It is one man and one woman put together to become one (Genesis 2:22-24). Many will say that this is just the Old Testament and does not apply to us today.
The Pharisees came to Jesus asking about divorce and if it was lawful or not to do. Jesus repeats what was said in Genesis in both Matthew 19 and Mark 10. With those words that the man and woman are to become one, He also adds:
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (Matthew 19:6)
The leaders wanted to know what Jesus had to say about divorce and He tells them that it should not happen at all.
“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:16 NASB
God hates divorce! It should not happen.
Why does God hate divorce? It is because He is a God of LOVE. He is Love. He wants His people to be people of love.
Divorce is not love. There is no love in divorce. There is no forgiveness. It is only hatred and selfishness. It only brings about pain and suffering for selfish reasons.
Love has absolutely no room for selfishness or hatred.
Some will say that divorce happened in the Bible and that Moses made provision for divorce. Jesus had something to say about this:
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way form the beginning.” Matthew 19:8
It was only out of the hardness of heart that divorce was ever allowed. This, again, does not show love. Love is soft and kind.
Now I know that there are some out there saying right now that I just don’t know or understand their situation. There are some that are being verbally, emotionally or physically abused, or some combination of all three. They will say that divorce is their only way out of the situation.
I do know that abuse does occur. I agree that it is horrible and can be life-threatening. However bad a situation is does not in any way allow for divorce. The only situation that Jesus says that allows for divorce was for sexual immorality–a spouse cheating on the other spouse sexually with another person.
Even then, divorce does not have to be the answer.
Think about life as a believer. Jesus promised that there would be persecution of every believer. He never promised that following Him would be easy or fun. He only promised that it would be worth it in the end.
Think about this situation: As a believer you are persecuted and abused–physically, sexually and emotionally. Does this give you the right to strike back in anger and hate? No.
Think about Jesus. He was perfect, never did anything wrong ever. Yet, He was abused, persecuted and killed upon a cross. Jesus endured whippings and beatings and a crown of thorns put on His head. Then as He was put upon the cross, He had to endure the pain of nails being driven through His hands and feet. And He had to endure the punishment of all sins of every person for all time. Then to top it off, His Father, whom He had been with for all eternity, turned His back on Him and struck Him.
How horrible! How wrong!
Yet, as Jesus was upon the cross He prayed that the Father would forgive them because they did not really know what they were doing. He forgave them of what they had done wrong.
And the whole reason for going through all that suffering was so that you may have life and be forgiven of your sins. This is real love.
You, as a believer, are to be just like Jesus–full of love and forgiveness. If you are going through persecution as a believer, does that give you the right to deny Jesus to get out of that persecution? NO! You are expected to endure the persecution, love your enemies and forgive them, just like Jesus did with you.
No where in the Bible does it give a believer the right to sin for any reason at all. Yet, many want to divorce, just because ‘we are incompatible’ or ‘he/she is abusive’ or for some other reason. None of these hold up under the command that no one should separate what God has put together.
Marriage may or may not be easy. Guaranteed there will be times that it will be difficult. There will be times that will seem like the most horrible thing on the face of the earth. Yet, marriage is supposed to be about love. One is love the other, no matter what.
Going back to the vows. Many said that they accept the other ‘for better or for worse’. This is often forgotten or ignored. You promised to live together for better or for worse, now wanting to get out of that promise because something is worse. You are to keep your vows before God. He will hold you accountable for every vow you made.
The other thing to remember is that with God all things are possible (Philippians 4:13). God can redeem your marriage. He can also give you the strength to endure all of the abuse that you may be going through. He can give you the love you need to love your spouse, even when that love is not returned and hate is given.
Just as your walk with God as a believer is not always easy, you walk in marriage may not always be easy, but it is worth it to love and fulfill your vow. Who knows? God may change the heart of your spouse and bring the spouse around to change his/her ways to a way of true love.
Divorce does not allow for change. It does not allow for love. It does not allow God to be the center of one’s life. It only brings about death and separation.
Do not allow death and separation to destroy your marriage. Hang in there and trust God to turn things around. Pray daily for strength and love to keep moving forward. Trust God to make the needed changes in your life and in the life of your spouse.
Now with this being said, I will say that there may be times when a spouse may have to move out to be safe from harm. Moving out is not getting a divorce, but staying safe. It still holds on to the hope that God will turn the marriage around.
Also if your spouse is an unbeliever and wants to get the divorce, than you are free to allow the spouse to get the divorce and you are released from your vow. However, you must not be the one to initiate or choose to get the divorce. Fight for your marriage.
I will be praying for your marriage. Praying that God will be the center of both of your lives and the center of your marriage. I will be praying that God will give you strength to love your spouse no matter what happens.
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 73:28
Searching for a home to live in can be difficult for many people, especially when moving into a new area. One does not know the new city and what different areas of the city is like. Some of the areas are high-end with great security, but high cost. Others are low-cost, but with a lot of crime.
Finding the right place is challenging and scary. One does not want to make the wrong choice.
Along with finding the place to live, people are also searching for their place and purpose in this world. Many go through life constantly struggling to find where they should be and why they should be there. Most of what people are looking at are temporary fixes.
Asaph states that for himself it is good to be near God. He had chosen to make God his refuge, his place of dwelling.
God is the one who has created everything and is in control of everything. He is the one who gives meaning and purpose to everything and everyone. He is the one who gives true life to every person.
Those who believe in God, need to allow themselves to dwell near Him. In order to be near God one has to turn away from sin and turn towards Him. God will not turn anyone away who comes to Him, but one must come to Him.
This is a conscience choice upon the individual as to where he will dwell.
Often a person chooses to walk away from God and step into sin. This is stepping out from God’s protection and refuge.
Being near God gives one His protection and favor. It gives one a life that is full of purpose and full of life.
As you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. He will never turn you away. Find out why it is good to be near God by making Him your refuge.
God is on your side when you are on and by His side. Stay near to Him by staying in His word and talking to Him daily. Do not turn away to the temporary things of this world, but live with eternity in the front of your mind and actions.
Where you are today?
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will stay close to God; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; that you will find refuge in God alone; and that you will know the full life God has for you.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
Good sleep is something that a lot of people are desiring, yet are not always getting it. It is common for people to toss and turn all night, or constantly be getting up for something throughout the night. When morning comes they feel as if they had not slept at all and are not rested and ready for the new day.
To help combat this restless sleeping people will try many different things. It is common for many to have a drink of alcohol in the evening before going to bed to begin to relax. Others take medicines, both over-the-counter and prescription, to help them sleep better at night.
The reason many cannot sleep is that they have things on their minds. They are worried about tomorrow, they are worried about what happened that day, they are trying to figure out what to do in a situation, and many other reasons.
David said he was able to lie down in peace and sleep. Yet, much of his life he had been running from enemies. He had peace because he knew that God was protecting him. He was safe in God’s hands.
The world only has the here and now and what they can individually do. They do not have the peace of God, the One in absolute control, in their lives. They live in sin and hope that everything will turn out all right, so they toss and turn seeking rest that is not there.
Believers know that God is in control of every situation in their lives. They do not have to worry about any thing. One can lie down at night, laying down every situation in his life at the feet of Jesus, knowing that God is in control and will take care of him. All fear and worry can leave, so that he can have a peaceful rest.
Place all of your cares and worries into God’s hands. Trust that He is in control. Then when you go to sleep at night, you can rest assured that God is with you and will protect you.
Put all your trust in God and not the things of this world. This world will let you down and destroy you. God will build you up and give you life, eternal life.
Do you have peace at night?
I pray today that you will know the peace God offers; that you will put all of your trust in God; that you will allow God to take care of your worries and fear; and that God will give you a peaceful rest each night.