God Will Deliver Us!

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves,
that we should not trust in ourselves, but in
God who raises the dead: Who delivered us
from so great a death, and does deliver: in
whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.
(2 Corinthians 1:9-10)

When we think of God's deliverance, we usually think of it in the past tense: something He did for us when He saved us. He delivered us from the wages of sin, and made us a part of His family, to spend eternity with Him in glory.

But God's deliverance does not end there. We can face an uncertain future because we know that we have seen, we have personally experienced God's deliverance. In His great mercy He has delivered us once already, and He will do it again!

What is it you need delivered from today? Fear? Worry? Doubt? Sickness? Our thoughts can overwhem us easily. In this surreal time we're currently living in, with all this "social distancing" and in some places, mandatory lockdowns, it's easy to give way to fear and worry, for ourselves, for our loved ones, for the financial losses and the effect on the economy, for the ever-rising death toll of this pandemic virus...... There are just so many things we focus on that cause us worry and fear.

As this Covid-19 continues to spread all over the world, many of us need deliverance from our fears. This is a frightening time in human history, and in response, we far too often fall back on fear, rather than faith. We tend to dwell on the problem, rather than focus on the power, love, grace, and mercy of our Heavenly Father. We need to fix our minds on God's word, remind ourselves of His promises, and focus on His deliverance.

The problem is, we want God's deliverance, but on our own terms. Same thing with our prayers: we want to pray to God, telling Him what we want Him to do. We want it our way. The problem is always within ourselves. In our pride. our ego and self-centeredness, somehow we seem to think we know better than God how our prayers should be answered, and how we should be delivered.

Beth Moore, the renowned teacher of women's Bible studies, says God's deliverance can take several forms. First, God can deliver us FROM something. By this I mean, He can keep it from touching us. In His divine wisdom and mercy, He can deliver us from the thing we are afraid of or worried about, and we will not have to experience it. This is invariably our first choice, no matter what. Even though we know that God uses our trials for His good purpose, as James says:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall
into divers temptations; Knowing this, that
the trying of your faith works patience. But
let patience have her perfect work, that you
may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
(James 1:2-4)

Or, if God choses not to deliver us FROM something, He can choose to deliver us THROUGH it. He may divinely allow us to experience the thing that frightens us, the thing that we worry so much about, but He will not allow it to destroy us, and He promises He will be with us through it all.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you:
when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
nor will the flame kindle upon you. (Isaiah 43:2)

When this is the deliverance He chooses,we have to understand and accept that He is Sovereign; that He has a purpose for it. Nothing is beyond His control, so whatever He allows to touch us has a purpose. Maybe to teach us to trust in Him more completely, because He is worthy of our complete trust. Maybe He chose this to humble us, to bring us to repentence, if we were drifting too far from Him, or if have allowed sin to creep into our lives.

Or just maybe it is that through our trial - and our reaction to it - that God is demonstrating true faith to someone around us. There is always somebody watching how we react when troubles come. Do we react like we truly believe what we say we believe? In other words, do our actions in times of trouble and trial match our words in times of ease? Whatever God's divine purpose it, He uses our trials to add to our testimony.

For most of us though, we don't like this option. Whatever God's reason may be, instead of trying to learn from and live out the lesson He has for us at our time of trial, we pray and beg God to send deliverance FROM our trouble, rather than THROUGH it. If we are wise, however, we will humbly acknowledge that God is Sovereign, and we belong to Him. God is good, all the time, and has allowed our trial for a good purpose. He is refining us, burning away all the impurities of fear, doubt, sin, and worldly idols.

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will
refine them as silver is refined, and will test them as
gold is tested: they shall call on my name, and I will
hear them: I will say, They are my people: and they
shall say, The LORD is my God. (Zechariah 13:9)

And then, sometimes, God chooses not to deliver us from something, or through it. Instead, He may choose to use the circumstance to deliver us HOME. That's right: straight into His presence. Home. Our final destination, where we will spend eternity with Him. Beth Moore says that if we only knew how wonderful heaven is, and how awesome it will be to be in the presence of God, this would always be our first choice.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, while
we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident,
I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and
to be presentwith the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Most of us, however, are more like the little boy who remained seated when the preacher asked all those who want to go to heaven to stand up. The preacher asked him, "Little Johnny, why didn't you stand up? Don't you want to go to heaven?" Little Johnny replied, "Well, yes, Preacher, I do want to go to heaven someday, just not right now." Most of us are probably the same: we know heaven is our ultimate home, but we don't want to go right now.

This terrible crisis we face today because of this Covid-19 virus must not make us so fearful that we forget about God's promise of deliverance for us.Our key verse today reminds us that at one time, before we received the promised of God's salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ for our sins, we were ALL living under a death sentence.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 6:23)

Through Jesus, we have the assurance of being delivered from death into life everlasting.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word,
and believes on Him that sent me, has everlasting life,
and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed
from death unto life. (John 5:24)

Maybe you need deliverance from fear. From chronic worry. From illness. From your troubled thoughts in this troubled time. Today's verse reminds us that, while we can put no trust in our own efforts, we can have hope for the future. We can trust in God's deliverance. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, He has delivered you once already - and He WILL do it again! Because He has, we can know that He will.

He may deliver us FROM this deadly virus. He may deliver us THROUGH it. Or, He may use it to deliver us HOME. The method of deliverance is His choice. It always has been, really. And no matter which way He chooses, we can be assured, His deliverance WILL come. And it will be good, because He is good! Keep your heart and mind focused not on the troubles of this world, but on Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)

Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests
be made known unto God. And the peace of God,
which passes all understanding, shall keep your
hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)

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