March 4, 2005
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
People who walk or jog in their neighborhoods have learned to put their faith in a new technology—invisible fencing. When your neighbor’s dog comes racing toward you with fangs bared, you know not to worry. The wire buried around the yard sends a mild shock to the dog’s collar and tells him to stop just before he has you for lunch.
As many times as you’ve seen dogs skid to a stop within yards of where you’re walking, you still wonder: What if my neighbor forgot to turn the system on? What if it’s broken? What if the dog chooses this one time to go for it and breaks through? You close your eyes and grit your teeth until you realize you haven’t been bitten. Saved again by the invisible hand.
Think of the invisible fence in a less high-tech way. Think of it as an invisible leash, a rope you can’t see that is played out by the owner. The dog is never out of the owner’s control; your safety is always ensured. In a very elementary way, that’s how you know you win in the end of this life.
Regardless of how much testing God allows you to undergo, and regardless of how much confusion the devil brings across your path, this you know: Trouble is on a leash that is firmly held by God’s hand. It is God who has justified you—declared you righteous. Why would He allow the one He has declared righteous to be destroyed by trouble in this world?
A man named Job in the Old Testament wished he had known that. He experienced far more trouble than you or I ever will, but he never knew while it was going on that his trouble was like a dog on a long leash. Trouble came close—it got so close it consumed his children, his livestock, his houses—everything Job owned, Satan consumed—except Job himself.
Satan tormented Job by afflicting his body, but Job’s life was never in danger. All the while, Job never knew that Satan was behind his trouble; that Satan was like a dog on a leash, and that God Himself was the restrainer.
No one, not even Satan himself, can bring a charge against God’s children—and that includes you. If God allows you to be tested as He did Job, remember that trouble is on a leash. An invisible fence separates you from the one who would destroy you. So take heart as you walk through this world. Don’t close your eyes and grit your teeth, hoping against hope that trouble will stop before it consumes you because trouble is on God’s leash.
TROUBLE IS ON GOD’S LEASH,
AND YOU ARE HELD SAFELY IN HIS HANDS.