Does God Actually Protect His People?

Rosalie de Rosset
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Your question is timely, considering the world we are living in—indeed, the kind of world people have always lived in since the fall. It is also one of the harder questions to answer in any humanly satisfying way. As you have noted, Christians are the victims of violence, oppression, abuse, and deadly illness. The very famous volume Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is full of stories of Christians who went to their deaths at the hands of wicked men and women. John and Betty Stam, who met and fell in love at Moody Bible Institute, were beheaded by Communists while serving as missionaries in China. Yet, their baby daughter, hidden by her mother in a sleeping bag, was spared. Some are protected from violence; others are not.

There is a great deal of bad teaching on this subject, some of it sounding as though people are trying to get God off the hook for allowing suffering. People talk about God using evil to refine us and to draw us closer to Him, almost as though evil was necessary for God to accomplish His purposes. The truth is that God is not, in one author’s words, “the secret architect of evil.” He hates death and sin, and we are permitted to hate it too. The dark consequence of Adam and Eve’s choice in the garden was that the relationship between men and women, between man and the earth, between men and women and God was broken. Sin entered in. Living in a damaged and decaying world, we are subject to its ills.

But as Romans 8:38–39 so beautifully reminds us, nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” He gives meaning to all that happens to us. As one theologian puts it, “Faith set us free from optimism long ago and taught us hope instead. . . . He will wipe away all tears from our eyes; there will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain. He will sit on the throne; He will say, ‘Behold I make all things new.’” This world is not the end of the story.

For Further Reading:

Do Angels Really Have Wings?

by Today in the Word

Do Christians, Jews, and Muslims all pray to the same God? Is it okay to be mad at God? Did Adam have a belly button? We all have questions,...

book cover for Do Angels Really Have Wings?