He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1–2)On January 8, 1956, Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Peter Flemming, and Roger Youderian were speared to death on a sandbar called “Palm Beach” in the Curaray River of Ecuador. They were trying to reach the Huaorani Indians for the first time in history with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Elisabeth Elliot memorialized the story in her book Shadow of the Almighty. That title comes from Psalm 91:1: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
“God’s refuge for his people is not from suffering and death, but final and ultimate defeat.” TweetGod did not exercise his omnipotence to deliver Jesus from the cross. Nor will he exercise it to deliver you and me from tribulation. “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). If we have the faith and single-mindedness and courage of those five missionaries, we might find ourselves saying with the apostle Paul,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:36–39)
“There is infinite, unending security in the almightiness of God — no matter what happens in this life.” TweetThe omnipotence of God means eternal, unshakable refuge in the everlasting glory of God, no matter what happens on this earth. And that confidence is the power of radical obedience to the call of God — even the call to die. Is there anything more freeing, more thrilling, or more strengthening than the truth that God Almighty is your refuge — all day, every day, in all the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of life? Nothing but what he ordains for your good befalls you.
As [the killers] described their recollections, it occurred to me how incredibly unlikely it was that the Palm Beach killing took place at all; it is an anomaly that I cannot explain outside of divine intervention. (italics added)In other words, there is only one explanation for why these five young men died and left a legacy that has inspired thousands. God intervened. This is the kind of sovereignty we mean when we say, “Nothing but what he ordains for your good befalls you.”
“In the darkest moments of our pain, God is hiding his weapons behind enemy lines.” TweetWhich also means that no one, absolutely no one, can frustrate the designs of God to fulfill his missionary plans for the nations. In the darkest moments of our pain, God is hiding his weapons behind enemy lines. Everything that happens in history will serve this purpose as expressed in Psalm 86:9,
All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.If we believed this, if we really let this truth of God’s omnipotence get hold of us — that we live perfectly secure in the shadow of the Almighty — what a difference it would make in our personal lives and in our families and churches. How humble and powerful we would become for the saving purposes of God.
Did you know that almost six out of ten teens leave the church at some point? Nearly 60% of high school students who grow up going to church will close the doors to a Christian life. And usually, they don't come back (survey by the Barna Group). "Because of people breaking the laws and sin being everywhere, the love in the hearts of many people will become cold." Matthew 24:12
Whenever I answer a question like this, I’m deeply aware that someone may be reading this who is seriously contemplating suicide—and I would do everything in my power to convince them not to take that final, drastic step. With Christ, there is always hope. If that’s you, please hear me. Don’t you dare do that! Jesus and I deeply love you and need you.
(This post is written to Christian women and is based on a biblical worldview, supported with Scripture. Since the writing of this post, a sequel has been written, The Motive to Modesty.) Hurriedly I raked through my second dresser drawer in the dim light of the unlit closet, scrambling for pants of some kind. Finding some, I grabbed a workout shirt, jammed feet into tennis shoes and breathlessly answered the door for Mr. M. “Ready for breakfast?” he asked.