Often, we have a singular idea of what being “delivered” means. But how God delivers can happen in more ways than one.
Sometimes God’s deliverance is physical. Daniel was delivered from the jaws of a lion in a lion’s den. The blind man was delivered from his blindness. Peter was delivered from a jail cell. The 5000 were delivered from their hunger.
Sometimes God’s deliverance is emotional. He leaves us in a very difficult and troubling situation, but gives us joy, peace, contentment and courage in that situation. I think of Paul and Silas singing hymns in the middle of the night in a jail cell in the city of Philippi. Or David being hunted down by King Saul, and yet always knowing, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall lack nothing.”
Sometimes his deliverance is spiritual. God allows our physical bodies to remain in trouble, in illness, in injury, in brokenness, or in pain. But he draws us closer in relationship to himself through all of this. Recall Paul praying to have his “thorn in the flesh” removed, and God saying simply, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Sometimes — and for a believer in Jesus, this is the most critical — God’s deliverance is eternal. He allows trouble to take us to the door of death, and then through that door. There he delivers us eternally. Consider Jesus praying for his Father to “take this cup from me” and then saying, “Your will, not mine, be done.” And then he was arrested, put on trial, beaten, mocked and crucified — only to be raised three days later.
Which of these kinds of deliverance are we most likely to ask for?
Whichever it is, the God who delivered his Son for you is the God whom you can trust to choose the right deliverance for you.
“And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:15, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Thursday, April 23, is Joshua 3:1 – 5:12, Luke 22:1-38 and Psalm 50:1-15.