The Lord is your shield, shelter, refuge, strong tower, and defense. Do you believe this? If God is your shield doesn’t that mean that there is something you need to be shielded from? If we need to be shielded from something that also means your life will not be easy, but hard and difficult like there is a battle ahead.
Life is not a picnic but a treacherous journey into combat.
But do not fear for the Lord will protect you and there is nothing that can come against you, no attack, sickness, or struggle that is not first approved by the Lord Himself. Nothing will happen to you without His permission. Though the devil thinks this is his chance to tear you down and destroy you. The Lord will use those very same things to strengthen and build you up.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” Genesis 50:20
Twice the Lord pointed out Job as being a righteous and blameless man who feared God and turned away from evil. He gave Satan permission to send attacks upon him that Job would be tested and tried.
And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Job 1:8
And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Job 2:3
As severe as the trials were God allowed all of them to happen. Job had no Bible or scriptures at all, but he trusted in the Lord completely, even saying that no matter what happened to him he would trust the Lord. Job was protected from death and in the end, he was rewarded for his faithful endurance, and God was proved right as always.
“Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may. Why should I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hand? Though He slay me, I will hope in Him; yet I will argue my ways to His face. This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before Him. Job 13:13-16
You may think that prosperity, a smooth easy life is evidence of God’s favor and approval. But that is not how the Lord works. That is not how He shows His approval. Many times it is a hardship, difficulty, and fiery trials that mark the path of the true servant of the Lord. No one can achieve great feats of accomplishment in this life without hard work, pain, struggle, and endurance. It is the same with those who enter the Kingdom of God.
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, Matthew 11:11-13
It is with great struggle and difficulty that the righteous will gain ground in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is with great effort that the Lord shapes, molds, and makes you into what He desires you to be for His purpose.
A weight lifter will not become stronger and stronger if he does not lift heavier and heavier weights. The Servant of the Lord is expected to endure heavier and heavier weight to grow stronger and mightier in the ways of the Lord.
Just look at all the godly servants of the Lord from scripture, Job, Moses, Abraham, David, Daniel, and more. Each one had a life marked by suffering and trial, and because of it they were made ever more righteous and worthy to be called servants of the Lord, and worthy. Even to the point that it was said of them, “Of whom the world was not worthy.” In the eyes of the Lord they were the best of the world.
Be not afraid of the stresses and the heavy weights put upon you in this life, but bear them up like you are in training for what is ahead. The Lord is your strength, protector, defender, and hope. He is always there beside us and will never leave or forsake us. Each pressing moment is designed to build your strength and stamina to handle what lies ahead.
One way or another God will get you through it. He will defend your life until the end, and someday you will be so much more than just a doorkeeper in the House of the Lord because of your patient endurance for your King.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed! For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you! Psalm 84:8-12