We are in a time when great tribulation is happening across the globe. There are earthquakes, floods, cyclones, and other natural disasters of a frequency and intensity that has never before been experienced on planet earth.
Then there is the devastation caused by COVID-19 that continues to spread both human misery and economic disaster. Experts warn that the domino effects following the COVID crisis will inevitably lead to economic collapse, famine, and other disasters. Such has been the pattern in the aftermath of past global pestilence events.
God protects His people
In spite of these things, as Christians we can take comfort knowing that God is in control of all of these things. He promises to protect His people from the worst of these things because of His bountiful love towards those who seek Him out.
Pestilence is the major issue today, but God helps His people understand with words of encouragement and comfort. Consider the current COVID pestilence in the light of God's word from Psalm 91.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, 2 will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” 3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; 4 he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. (Psalms chapter 91, verses 1 to 6)
There is great protection and comfort in these words. God will deliver His people from the deadly pestilence. As He says in verses 5 and 6, “you will not fear… the pestilence that stalks in darkness.”
Examples of God’s protection
The words of the Bible are filled with examples of how God has protected His people.
Look at Daniel who was thrown into a den of lions for no greater crime than refusing to bow to any God but the one true God: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Daniel held a firm and steadfast faith in God that He would be protected, and God closed the mouths of the lions. Daniel was taken from the lion's den completely unharmed.
Similarly, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into a fiery furnace, heated to temperatures seven times hotter than normal. It was so hot it killed the guards who cast these three men into the fire. And again we see God's protection as an angel was sent to protect them from the flames. When the king called the three men out of the furnace, not only were they unharmed, but also not a hair on their bodies was singed nor even the smell of smoke was on their clothing.
There are many other such stories of God’s protection in the Bible. The one thing that stands out in all of them is that God protects those who seek Him out and follow in His ways. When we have faith, we have no need to fear the turbulence that surrounds us, but we can take comfort as we hand our concerns to the Lord for His resolution.
The power of repentance
There is another protection in the New Testament that is tied into repentance.
1 There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? 3 I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Silo'am fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." (Luke chapter 13, verses 1 to 5)
In this scripture, the Galileans who were sacrificed by Pilate, and the eighteen who were killed when the tower collapsed were no different to anyone else. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Their lives, and more specifically their deaths, were based solely upon the vagaries of chance.
But Jesus shows that those who repent and come to the Lord have a protection that the non-repentant do not have. They have the protection of the Lord.
In these times of uncertainty, that is a great comfort and a cause for encouragement to those who belong to Christ. Seek the Lord and He will protect you from this current pestilence and all of the tribulations to come.
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/ or listen to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-free-gift-from-god-podcast/id1440682375