Defend my cause and redeem me. Preserve my life according to your promise….You are my hiding place. You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 119:154, 32:7)
Are You Safe?
The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago, Illinois, is the third tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. It is 108 stories tall, soaring up 1,450 feet, and you can view a radius of over 50 miles into four States! On the top floor are glass viewing boxes, called “The Ledge,” extending four feet outside the building. The floors are made of 1.5-inch laminated glass and can hold up to 10,000 pounds of weight! But in June 2019, a woman and her two children stepped out on to the ledge and the glass floor splintered into thousands of pieces. The family was scared, but Willis Tower officials assured everyone that no one was in danger because the “protective layer did what it was supposed to do.”1
God (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) assures us throughout Scripture that He is trustworthy and that we are safe building our lives on Him as the solid foundation. So Edward Mote’s hymn reminds us:
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.
Troubles still happen to God’s people and our expectations often cave in under our feet. So the Lord wants us to call on Him and trust Him, the Master Designer and Engineer of His world and us. Let’s remember that the Lord has already rescued us many times each day of our lives without us even being aware of it!
More Scriptures on this Theme
The Lord defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and He loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing….He is a shield around me. He bestows glory on me and lifts up my head….He is a Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows….The LORD is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.2
Author Jill Briscoe says: I believe God, through His Spirit, gives us His love, joy, and peace no matter what is happening in our lives. As Christians, we shouldn’t expect our joy to always feel like happiness, but instead recognize Christian joy as security and safeness in our living fellowship with Christ.
The Lord Protects Us Even in Dying
Several of my Christian brothers and sisters have died recently and gone home to be with Christ, which is better by far. The Scriptures above remind me of Stephen the Deacon who was stoned to death for preaching Christ’s gospel in Jerusalem. His true story is found in Acts chapter 7. As Stephen was dying, full of the Holy Spirit, he looked up to Heaven and saw King Jesus standing at God’s right hand. Christ was standing to receive the soul of His servant Stephen as he was martyred.
No wonder Scripture says, “Precious in the LORD’s sight is the death of His saints.”3 When we die, Jesus promises His followers, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”4 Jesus doesn’t assure us endless life here on earth. But He guarantees an eternal dwelling with Him in a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.5 Do we trust that Christ will follow through for us? Do we trust Him enough to die for Him in service? And to live for serving Him?
Psalm 3 says that the Lord lifts up our head. That means Christ blesses us to share in His victory, even while we are weak and helpless, even when we are cast down. Many believers are feeble and frail at the end of their lives. Some suffer for their whole lives! But praise God, Jesus has been raised from the dead and He makes us certain that we will also be raised to be with Him forever.6 If we share in Jesus sufferings, He promises that we will also share in His glory.
Christ is our Defender and Protector in everyday events, and when we are dying, and when other people reject us.
When Others Reject Us
There will always be people who misunderstand us, don’t like us, criticize us, judge us, attack us, insult us, put us down, lie about and spread rumors about us. Have you experienced those negative treatments from others? Pastor Rick Warren warns that we will be tempted to fight back and defend ourselves. But he urges us to remember Psalm 62:
Yes, my soul, find rest in God. My hope comes from Him.
Truly He is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God. He is my mighty rock, my refuge.7
We can try to defend ourselves…or ask God to. Warren asks: Who do you think can do a better job protecting us? Surely God can. The Apostle Peter was an eyewitness to how Jesus handled rejection and Peter writes, “When they hurled insults at Christ, He did not retaliate. When He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to God who judges justly.”8 Lord, help us do the same.
Prayer: Lord, we are children of dust, feeble and frail. In you, we trust and know you never will fail. Your mercies are tender and firm to the end. You are our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend. Help us hang on to you by faith, knowing that you hang on to us. Help us not to shrink from serving you and other people. Be our rock of refuge to whom we can always go. Save us, for you are our fortress. Help us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Note (various translations) 1 cnn.com June 12, 2019. 2 Deut 10:18; Psalm 3:3; 68:5; 28:7. 3 Psalm 116:15. 4 Luke 23:43. 5 2 Peter 3:13. 6 1 Cor 15:20. 7 Psalm 62:5-7. 8 1 Peter 2:23.