Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in Him,
for He shields him all day long, and the one the
LORD loves rests between His shoulders.
As believers, we can rest secure in God’s love and care. We shouldn’t be naïve, though. As Christians we will still encounter problems.
Some preachers like to proclaim that once we follow God, everything will be rosy. No problems, just God’s favour, blessing, and prosperity. That is false preaching. It is prosperity preaching, and it looks inviting, but it omits a large portion of God’s truth. Namely, we all have problems. Sometimes heart wrenching trials.
What the Bible teaches is that God shields us even in our troubles. We can rest secure in Him, even in our troubles.
When we love God, He loves us, and we can draw a mental picture of resting between our mighty God’s shoulders! Isn’t that an inviting image? Us mere humans resting on the God of the Universe’s shoulders! How personal is that? Our great God loves us, and cares for us, and holds us up so that we can rest on Him!
Perhaps you know some individuals, or families, such as I do, that seem to have gone through the wringer of struggle after struggle. Some believers will struggle more than others. Each person has a differing cross to carry. That much is certain. Sometimes we bring our problems onto ourselves. Other times, God tests us to refine us. In the end God intended all our trials for our own sanctification. That big word means for our growth and purification, to draw us closer to God.
Our Lord draws us closer to Him and shields us (all day long) as we allow Him to. We can rest on God. Even in the middle of the worst trial imaginable, we can lean on God and rest on Him.
It seems the problems of life have two effects. One a person will be angry at God for all that He has given them to deal with. They will run from Him and stop serving Him.
The second response is to run to God, and allow Him to purify us. Run into His loving arms for shelter and to experience His love to the fullest. Turning to God with our pain is always the best response possible. Running from Him only makes the problem worse and compounds our troubles.
I know as I write this that many have endured horrible atrocities and yet God has helped them bring it full circle and use those brutal experiences for His glory and for helping others. God will bring you through. He will help you. But only if you let Him.
The best example of this is the book of Job in the Bible. There was Job, prospering to the maximum. Then Satan asked God if he could sift Job. And God allowed it. But Job comes through his trials, broken in the dust, hurting more than most believers ever will. He questions God but never denies His God as being anything but good. God humbled Job to the core. God permitted Job to suffer to the point most of us never have. He lost his house, his entire family except his wife, who asked him to curse God and die. And he would have had he followed her foolish advice. But Job, broken, laying in the dust, never cursed God. He was angry, he questioned, but he held on in faith.
Believers have looked to the example of Job, especially in times of suffering for decades and centuries, as we read the Bible. The beauty of this story is that God recompenses Job for his faith. He gives him double in the end. We can find that in the last few chapters of the book of Job. God restores Job. And Job is an example of a man of exemplary faith.
As I read the story of Job, I always stand amazed at how much he was called to suffer. And how he shines as an example of one who endured and honoured God through it all. Job did not spurn God nor did he run from God. Job was humbled, yes; he laid in the dirt and filth and pit of suffering, and yet, and yet, he called God good. He could listen to his friend Elihu as he spoke.
“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.” Job 37:5
Many of God’s people suffer. But we have God to lean on through it all. He refines our suffering and gives it purpose. How would the prosperity gospel help you in the middle of losing a loved one? Would they promise healing when it is God’s time to call your loved one home? Would they promise wealth when all you want is to be upheld by God in the middle of your pain?
We can look to the Bible for many more examples of men and women who suffered.
Joseph got thrown into a pit by his jealous brothers and later into prison for unjust cause.
Ruth lost her husband and stayed by the side of her mother-in-law in choosing poverty and following God, over staying in a heathen land.
David was on the run for a good many years, hiding from a king he had shown kindness to.
They also threw Jeremiah the Prophet into a pit, a cistern. He served God faithfully, proclaiming truth over lies. Jeremiah served God and would have given his life for God’s sake. His life was anything but easy, and we know him as the weeping prophet. But how great is his reward now? He is with God, with all the other saints in glory, no more weeping, no more lamenting, just praising God for eternity.
The apostles Peter, Paul and James martyred for their faith along with the hordes of others, proclaimed the words “and to die is gain…”
Think of Mary, willing to give up her reputation to obey Jesus, giving birth to the King of Kings.
And as we think of resting on God in our trials, we must also think of Jesus, our LORD.
He suffered more than anyone. Jesus bore the wrath of God for you and for me.
He took the curse of our sin on the cross. He set us free.
And now we can rest in God.
Lean on God.
Hold on to God.
Rest on His shoulder.
Cling to Him.
Turn to Him.
Rely on Him.
We have Jesus as our Mediator to the God who cares for us regardless of how hard the situation is.
Let us rest secure in God no matter what goes on around us.
Allow Him to shield us through life’s tests and trials. (Pro-Writing Aid wants me to say “from” but that would drastically change the meaning of what I write, and I want to write truthfully!)
And rest on His shoulder.
Allow God to take you on His shoulder to find rest and security for your soul.
For now and all eternity.