We have a great God, unfathomable in both power and wisdom.
Certainly it only makes sense that we trust Him for His power to keep us safe. Yet, will we trust Him in His wisdom when He allows us to be in harm’s way. Do we really believe that He’s wise enough to know what He’s doing? Perspective comes when we couple God’s power with His wisdom.
Examples of Perspective in Dangerous Situations
Look at Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego on the brink of being thrown into the fiery furnace because they wouldn’t fall down and worship the king’s image. They said, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Dan. 3:17-18) They trusted God regardless of the outcome. They fully believed their God was able and, though it doesn’t say, they obviously believed God knew best in the situation should that not be the outcome.
Also consider Joseph, betrayed by his own jealous brothers. Though pulled out of the pit they put him in, he continued to find himself in unsafe situations until one day, it all came together for the good. Had these things not happened, Joseph wouldn’t have been in a position to rise to power and save nations, including that of his own family, from famine. He told his brothers, “As for you, you meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose, so he could preserve the lives of many people, as you can see this day.” (Gen. 50:20)
Wisdom at Work When God Holds Back His Power
Jesus’ death on the cross provides the best example of why we should trust God’s wisdom when we don’t see His powerful hand at work. Hanging on the cross, Jesus could have called a host of angels to deliver Him, but He didn’t in order to bring about a greater good. Jesus said, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” (Matt. 26:53-54)
Imagine how His disciples felt with their Master crucified and laid in a grave. In that dark moment of tragic loss, they didn’t understand what God was doing. But then came the resurrection … victory over sin and death! God had never lost control. A few days of pain and despair turned to unimaginable joy and purpose.
No wonder the Apostle Paul spoke of Jesus’ death on the cross this way: “but we preach Christ crucified … the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor. 1:23-24)
Perspective in Church Safety
Like Jesus said when tempted by Satan to throw Himself down off the temple so God could protect Him, we shouldn’t intentionally place ourselves in harm’s way, putting the Lord to the test (Matt. 4:5-7). As leaders we do have a responsibility when it comes to church safety. Develop church safety policies and practices. The best preparation for the congregation, however, comes in learning to trust a God who is able to keep us safe yet is also wise enough and powerful enough to work all things together for a greater good regardless of what happens (Rom. 8:28). That’s the kind of perspective we need!