Does God protect us?

Does God protect us? Yes, 1 John 5:18 (The Message): “The God-begotten are also the God-protected. The evil one can’t lay a hand on them.”

Does that mean we’re safe from earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, volcanoes, accidents, terrorists and pandemics? Or that we’ll never break a leg skiing, never choke on a chicken bone, or never fall down a sinkhole? Or that all Christians will never be hit by lightning strikes, bad investments, mental breakdowns, Alzheimer’s, muggings, burglaries, scams or hijackings? Does God guarantee us a life of invincibility, of everything turning out right, and of never failing an important exam? Can I know for certain that when I get on a plane I will be safe?

But what did John mean when he says the “children of God” (verse 19) are “God-protected”? He explains himself in verse 20 – that God protects our “understanding”. And why is that far more important than protection from all those things mentioned above? Because, verse 19, “the whole world is under the control of the evil one,” and under his control the world does not “know him who is true,” verse 20, nor that “we are in him who is true – even in his Son Jesus Christ,” or that “HE (Jesus) is the true God and eternal life.”

When we understand that our lives are already safe and sealed in God’s keeping for eternity because of Jesus Christ, it frees us from the worry and fear of what might happen to us in this life. The evil one, however, wants people putting all their hopes and dreams into this temporary physical existence, as though this life is all there is, the result of which is the world makes “idols” (verse 21) of useless things that totally absorb their lives until they die.

Jesus came to offer us protection from that, from wasting our precious lives on useless idols that die when we die. He wants us experiencing instead “How bold and free we become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening” to the point “we know what we’ve asked for is as good as ours,” verses 14-15.

Jesus becomes so real we feel completely safe in his care. We don’t need the evil one’s idols to make us feel safe, like the security of money. But none of the evil one’s idols offer security anyway. A major financial crisis or a huge natural disaster, and all that security vanishes.

There’s no guarantee of safety for anyone in this world – except for the safety that Jesus offers, that no matter what our circumstances in this ridiculous world, our lives are never in eternal danger. And God protects our understanding of that.

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