Life is continually changing. At times I tell myself that if just a few pressing issues resolve, my days will be calmer. But as soon as those problems are settled, some new challenge always pops up. Even globally, we’re in a constant state of flux. The economy rises and then spirals downward. Gas prices increase and unemployment falls. A new conflict flares up every few months. Since we live in a fallen world, trouble is part of our reality. Life will never settle down to the point that we can sail along with uninterrupted ease.
Thankfully, God guides believers through times of turbulence (Psalm 23). He is the Good Shepherd who constantly abides with His world-weary lambs. Jesus vowed to His disciples, “I will not leave you as orphans” (John 14:18). And His promise was fulfilled in the person of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to indwell and care for each of God’s followers. Paul poetically described the Spirit as a seal placed around believers until they are called to their heavenly home. In other words, He provides a protective barrier against evil forces desiring to snatch us from God’s hand.
In the verses leading up to today’s reading, Paul defined his audience as the Lord’s children (Rom. 8:16). So let me be very clear that the promise of a holy protective presence is only for those who have received Jesus Christ as Savior. No one’s life will always be calm. But believers are assured of a Companion in the dark hours. You can be confident that God’s goodness and love will surround you until you dwell in His house forever. (Psalm 23:6).
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