September 11, 2017


In this dangerous world we find safety in Jesus.
In Jesus we find the courage to face the dangers in this world. Our faith is not a run-and-hide kind of faith. We are called to do dangerous things but not foolish things or presumptuous things. We must not let danger stop us from following the call of God on our lives.

This isn’t a truth just for missionaries.
We are all called to take a stand for Christ in difficult and dangerous places. Missionaries who are called to the untamed regions of the world may face cannibals, wild beasts, hostile tribes, or treacherous terrain. Most of us will never face that kind of danger.

We are called to different jungles, domestic and foreign.

  • The cannibals who would have us for lunch are often co-workers or wicked bosses with patches of jungle they have to protect.
  • The wild beasts that roar at us are speeding cars, buses, trains, and aluminum tubes that fly at hundreds of miles an hour 35000 feet in the air.
  • We face hostile tribes of competitors who will just as soon slit our career throat as stab us in the vocational back to advance their safari through this jungle.
  • We walk in dangerous places, steep mountain trails, impenetrable forests, and we must somehow cross swollen rivers.

All the while, foreign enemies who follow a hostile god who commands that we either deny Christ or die, stand ready, armed, and dangerous at every point of entry to our country, digital or geographic.

What Might Happen
Yes, we face danger. Worry is one of the greatest threats. There is a lot to worry about: illness, accidents, family, machine failure, society breakdowns, dirty bombs–North Korea! The “what if” game will drive us mad. How can we sleep at night? How can we venture forth tomorrow to brave the dangers the day will hold? If every time we are tempted to worry we would turn that thought into a prayer, what a difference that would make.

What We Know
Of all the things we can remember or imagine, there are few things that we can know.

  • We know that God loves us and that He is in ultimate control of lives when we have trusted Him with them.
  • We know that Jesus promised never to leave us or forsake us.
  • We know God sends angels to watch over us every hour of every day.
  • We know that we are called according to God’s purpose and He is really good at making all things work out for our good.
  • We know that “greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.”
  • We know that Jesus has overcome the world and that through Him we can overcome it too.

We do not face danger alone.
If we don’t understand what is happening, we know that God does. He is not pacing the balcony of heaven wondering what to do next. If our spiritual eyes could only see them, we are sure angels surround us all the time. Our every footfall will be lit by the Word of God as will every path we take no matter how steep and narrow. In Jesus we find the courage to face these dangers. Let’s turn every worry into a prayer!

In this dangerous world we find safety in Jesus.

2 Corinthians 11:24-29
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
Romans 8:34-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the Wiles of the devil … to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The First Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 12:2‑6 The Book of Common Prayer(adapted SRP)
Surely, it is God who saves me; I will trust in Him and not be afraid. For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, and He will be my Savior. Therefore you (I, we) shall draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation. And on that day you (I, we) shall say, Give thanks to the Lord and call upon His Name; Make His deeds known among the peoples; see that they remember that His Name is exalted. Sing praises of the Lord, for He has done great things, and this is known in all the world. Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Be Still My Soul

Words: Kathrina von Schlegel; Music: “Finlandia” Jean Sibelius

1. Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide,
who through all changes faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
to guide the future surely as the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
his voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever with the Lord;
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved