God’s Protection Service
God’s Protection Service
Verse 11: The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
Verse 11 is a great verse for us to remember after we have experienced a time of failure. Paul was unable to preach the Gospel in Jerusalem. The people would not listen and rioted. In fact, there were three different riots. In addition, there were 40 Jews who wanted Paul dead. They took a vow not to eat or drink until Paul was killed.
Sometimes God’s Protection Service does not fit in with our view of what His protection should be. God protected Paul in three ways:
- A Closed Door. God closed the door in Jerusalem but opened the door for Paul to minister in Rome. This is often true for us that God will close a door but Satan deceives and twists and we try to open the door ourselves.
- Ungodly Soldiers: God used the Roman commander who ordered two centurions with their 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 spearmen to take Paul to Governor Felix.
- Ungodly Governor: Governor Felix put Paul under house guard in Herod’s palace for protection until his trial. God is in control and will even use unbelievers to accomplish His will.
James 1:13: When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone…
Are trials a protection from God? Testing draws us closer to God while temptation drives us away from God. The problem is that Satan will twist trials or tests into temptation trying to make us believe that God does not love us or else He would not allow it. In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray “Lead us NOT into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
James 1:2-4, 12-18: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
4 things to remember when going through a trial or test:
- Focus on the goodness of God. The deceiver tells us that God doesn’t care. We overcome that with gratitude for God’s goodness to us. Make a gratitude list.
- Focus on God’s righteousness/character. God does not change. The deceiver tells us that God has abandoned us. Remember the sun shines 24 hours a day somewhere but at night in the darkness, we cannot see it.
- Focus on God’s Word/truth. Respond to the lies of Satan with the Word. We are to walk in truth, not live by feelings.
- Focus on God’s perspective of you, your identity in Christ. We are the first fruits of His creation which is the best because of Jesus Christ.
God wants to use WBC to share His love with our community. As we focus on these four things, we will be strengthened in our ministry to obey the Great Commission.