But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 NLT
The presence of evil surrounded me.
Darkness had another hour before the morning light drove it away. And me? I had a job to do for a fellow college student. He opened the college in the morning and raised the American and Christian flags to their respective places. Since my wife was working, I strolled our infant daughter with me.
As my daughter lay fast asleep in her stroller, I unlocked the front door of the college, picked up the American flag lying on an inside chair, hooked it to the pole, and prepared to raise it. Suddenly, I noticed a haggard-looking young man walking up from nowhere. He saluted the flag.
Feeling the presence of danger yet knowing I had a duty to do, I told him I had another flag to raise. I feared his reaction. I feared for my daughter if something happened to me. But I knew it was an opportunity to stand for Christ. I raised the flag. He made a derogatory remark and walked off. Rather disappeared. After raising the flag, I looked across the parking lot to where he should have been, but saw no one. God had protected me from evil.
Paul declares God is faithful and will guard His children from Satan, the evil one … the enemy of our souls. In another place, he says God will not allow us to be tempted to the degree that we have no choice but to give in (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Declaring God will protect us doesn’t mean bad things can’t or won’t happen to us. Christians in many parts of the world pay for their beliefs with persecution and death. They did when Paul wrote these words. Jesus Himself paid with His life. In a strange way, the evil of persecution multiplies Christians instead of stamping them out.
We can’t always explain why God allows evil to temporarily triumph, but this we can know. Others may kill the body, but they can’t destroy our soul or spirit. This part of us is protected by God Himself and will inherit the blessed eternal life He promises to His children. Sometimes God delivers us from evil—as He did me—while at other times He delivers us through it. In either case, He gives the wisdom we need to respond appropriately, not foolishly.
Don’t fear evil. Instead, trust the One who has power over it.
Prayer: Father, we entrust our lives to You, believing You have power over our enemy.