By the Time It Reaches You

In Psalm 91:9-11, we read the most astonishing words:

If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the Lord, who is my refuge—then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. . .

It’s such a powerful promise that’s hard to fathom in light of when we feel harmed or in the midst of personal disaster of all forms. I feel doubt and skepticism rising in my heart, but then I couple this Psalm with the most comforting words of Hannah Whitall Smith in her book The Christian Secret of a Happy Life. She writes:

Secondary causes must all be under the control of our Father, and not one of them can touch us except with His knowledge and permission. It may be the sin of man that originates the action, and therefore the thing itself cannot be said to be the will of God; but by the time it reaches us it has become God’s will for us and must be accepted as directly from His hands. No person or group of persons, no power in earth or heaven, can touch the soul that is abiding in Christ without first passing through his encircling presence and receiving the seal of His permission. If God be for us, it matters not who may be against us; nothing can disturb or harm us.

I love thinking about the marvelous work of God that works all things for good for you and me (Romans 8:28). Terrible things may happen, but by the time they reach us, God is already working to transform this harm into His good plan to bring us blessing. What an impossible thing to believe! How Spirit-filled must we be to continue understanding this perspective? I pray that God increases our faith today. I pray that we experience God’s encircling presence.

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