The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8

Fear is an amazing enemy, and not amazing in a good way. Fear can paralyze us from doing what we’ve always wanted to do. Fear has kept books from being written, songs being sung, businesses started, relationships pursued, and well, you get the idea.

So, what are you afraid of today? Fear can be a good emotion, protecting us from danger, but it can also keep us from being all God intended us to be. In our current culture we see firsthand the effects of fear in our political, social and personal interactions. Psalm 121 was a song written for a people who knew fear well. While they earnestly desired to worship in the Temple, the journey was dangerous, long and full of fear. The final stanza of the song gives the pilgrims a final reminder of the hope they had, a Father who would keep them from all harm. A Father who saw every step of the tedious journey.

Does He really protect me from all harm?

There are many pilgrims on the journey of life who have lost heart. The promise of God’s ‘keeping them from all harm’ has been lost in battles with health, politics, racism, hate, financial disaster, relational struggles and, well, you get the picture. In the midst of their struggle the unanswered question is, “If God says He’ll protect me from all harm, why?” Quite frequently the unanswered question pushes them away from this Father of light into the shadows of darkness and, there’s that word again, FEAR.

God’s Protection is Real

The important thing for us pilgrims to remember along the journey is that God’s protection isn’t in the physical realm, but in the spiritual. Oh yes, He does protect us. Often the protection goes unseen. The near miss of a car accident. The cancer-free diagnosis. The freedom from addition. The healing from past abuse.

But most often his protection comes in other ways we can’t comprehend. Here are some things to ponder when we think of God’s protection in our lives.

I Can’t Fall From Grace

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:28-29)

Jesus Himself states that those who have made a personal decision to follow him, although they will fail at times, will never be taken from the hands of his Father. We may stumble. We may sin. We may make a mess of our lives. But through confession and repentance we always have a way to freedom in Christ.

I Can Start Over Again

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)

Have you ever made a vow to God and reneged on the promise? In the midst of your struggle you’ve prayed earnestly, “I’ll never do that again”, but you do? The enemy reminds you of your weakness. The enemy accuses you of being a hypocrite. The enemy may even use others to remind you of your continual inability to change. But the Father will never say ‘enough’. He isn’t the God of second chances, He’s the God of CONTINUAL chances. You can always start over. You can always come home.

I’m Not Tied to My Past

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Someone once said, ‘Don’t remind me of my past, I don’t live there anymore and I’ve left no forwarding address.’ Nothing is more true. When you accepted Jesus as Savior you left the past behind. Oh, there will be times my friend when old habits, thoughts and attitudes arise, but you are just visiting, not residing. You can remember the new freedom you have in Jesus and return to your new home of grace and forgiveness.

I’m Sealed with the Holy Spirit

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.  (Ephesians 1:13)

Lastly, you are marked with a seal. When God seems distant. When the struggles of life seem too great, you have a tattoo on your forehead that says, ‘taken’. You are a tattoo in God’s hand, a reminder that you are his. If the Father knows how many hairs you have on your head, if the Father sees an insignificant sparrow fall to the ground, will He not, as the Good Shepherd, seek you out to bring you home? I think so.

So, when fear and doubt attack. When God seems to have forgotten you. Remember the things that will never be taken from you on the darkest of nights.