God's will

Where is the safest place in the world for a Christian today?

9 July 2021

4.3 MINS

“Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision,
‘Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;
for I am with you, and no-one will attack you to hurt you;
for I have many people in this city.’
And he continued there a year and six months,
teaching the word of God among them.”
— Acts 18:9-11 (NKJV)

Being at the centre of God’s will for your life is the safest place in the world.

In the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it seems that nowhere in the world is exactly safe. This virus has no respect for anyone, regardless of their social status, educational background, wealth, or any other indicator. The pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another.

Even in our relative safe haven of Australia, we are still impacted: social distancing, closure of schools, loss of jobs, travel restrictions, lockdowns — the list goes on. Even once the virus has passed, our health will still be at stake. Death will eventually darken our doorstep at some point in the future.

In this current moment, there can be fear and hopelessness when we reflect on the fact that no one knows what will be next. Life has become unpredictable. Many things have shifted dramatically. We are living with the so-called “new normal”. It seems that there is no safe place left in our world today.

But there is hope for believers — for those who believe and follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. In John 16:33, Jesus has promised us:

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

In other words, Christians will face all sorts of tribulations in their life while they are on this side of eternity. The Good News is that God’s divine presence and peace will be with us always regardless of our circumstances (Philippians 4:6-7; Psalms 91:1-16).

If we die, it won’t be the end; only the beginning of something new, better and more glorious. Believers will be with the Lord for ever and ever (1 Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 21:4). One way or another, God’s people will always be safe.

For believers to experience God’s divine presence, peace and joy, we must daily live and walk in the centre of God’s revealed will for our lives (Matthew 26:39). We must be willing to carry our cross and follow Jesus Christ daily (Luke 9:23).

In the Books of Acts, we find an interesting story. Saul of Tarsus, who was the chief persecutor of Christians and a former destroyer of churches, gave his life to the Lord after a divine encounter on the way to Damascus (Acts 9). His life and world were dramatically turned upside-down.

An unbelieving Jew, Saul, was transformed into Paul, who became an Apostle to the Gentile world. Now, persecutor became persecuted, and hunter became hunted — by both Jews and the Gentiles! Everywhere Paul went to preach the Gospel, riots broke out, he was persecuted or he had to run for dear life in most of the cities he visited (2 Corinthians 11:21-33). It seemed there was no safe place for him on the earth.

In one of those circumstances, the Apostle Paul came to Corinth, which was a Gentile city. It was a corrupt pagan place, where idol worship and ungodliness was rampant. It would have been natural for him to feel afraid of what would happen next, especially given his previous traumatic experiences.

But fear of the unknown is the worst enemy — of both believers and unbelievers. Fear creates worry, anxiety, hopelessness, depression, mental breakdown — the list goes on. Due to fear, people do things they never would in normal circumstances.

The Apostle Paul heard the word of the Lord telling him that he should not fear anything or anyone, since God was with him to protect, provide, and give him success in the mission he had been tasked with in that part of the world (Acts 18:9-11).

Paul obeyed and acted with faith in the promises of God and God’s revealed will for his present circumstances. In other words, Apostle Paul put his life at the centre of God’s will regardless of the situation, or his past experiences, or even his personal feelings.

His eighteen months’ stay in Corinth and his ministry there was fruitful. He was able to make converts and to establish a church. Later, he wrote two amazing letters to the believers in that city: First and Second Corinthians.

Regardless of our circumstances, when we surrender our lives to the Lord and walk daily in the centre of His divine will for our life, then we will experience His presence, peace, joy, safety, and provision. Not only that: we will also be able to accomplish the plan and purpose of God for our lives for any given season. We will flourish and prosper regardless of our circumstances.

Yes, today we are facing various uncertainties more than any time in human history. We are not sure what we might be inhaling, touching, or encountering in our day-to-day travels. We don’t know what governments will decide to do next. Fear of the unknown is tangible.

But as Christians, we know for sure from the Scriptures, that God is in control over everything: the past, the present, and the future. As Hebrews 13:5-8 says,

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.
For He, Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you,
whose faith you follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

I believe this is why David declared in Psalm 23:4,

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

You and I must earnestly seek to be at the centre of God’s will for our lives — through prayer, praise, worship, thanksgiving, reading and meditating upon His Word, and also carrying out His revealed will daily, rather than being anywhere else. (1 Thessalonians 5;16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:58)

We are always safe when we have Jesus Christ dwelling in us and with us (Matthew 6:33-34; Matthew 28:18-20; John 16:33). If you have not yet surrendered your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, then this is the time while there is still hope and the opportunity to do so.

[Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels]

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One Comment

  1. Umesh Singh Clement 9 May 2023 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Save Christian lives in India 🥲

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