June 25, 2014
READ: John 11:47-53
So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death (v.53).
Our lives began to fall apart when my daughter took her life,” the woman told me during a break in the conference we were both attending. “And then our second daughter spiralled into depression and started to self-harm. After several months we discovered the reason why: while my husband and I were missionaries in Indonesia, two of our three children had been sexually abused at a mission-run school. We had given our lives to serve God. . . . Why didn’t He protect us?” I would hear similar stories at that conference—these people felt betrayed by God.
Surely there are blessings inherent to following the Lord, including protection from evil (Psalm 91:9-12, 121:5-8). But to invoke such promises like a spell, expecting a calamity-free life, is to go awry. Jesus said we would have trouble in this world (John 16:33). He did.
As a child, Jesus’ life was under threat (Matthew 2:13). As an adult, He was hunted by authorities (Luke 13:31). A mob tried to throw Him off a cliff (4:29), and He had a finance manager who embezzled His funds (John 12:4-6). A plot was hatched by religious leaders to take His life (11:47-53)—one which ultimately succeeded.
Jesus gave His all to follow the Father. He was perfectly in God’s will. The result? Trouble. Even those touched by His ministry were in jeopardy (12:10-11).
“Jesus gave us only two promises,” another conference attendee told me after sharing his own pain: “To be with us to the end of the age, and to wipe every tear from our eye” (Matthew 28:20; Revelation 21:4). After hearing the man’s words, and those of others who had suffered, I learned something: God may not protect us from every evil, but He will always get the victory. After crucifixion came the resurrection. —Sheridan Voysey
Luke 5:1-39 ‹365-day plan
Read 2 Corinthians 11:24-29 to be reminded of Paul’s hardships in following God’s will.
From what can we expect God to protect us? What can we do when we feel betrayed by Him?