One of our members at Hope Harbor Church told me about an incident that occurred at the retail store where she works. It seems that a couple, who had recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, came to the store to spend the cash and gift cards presented to them in honor of their committed marriage. Apparently, having set her purse down briefly with all the cash and cards in it, someone decided to ruin their special time together by running off with her bag. What was meant to be a chance for this loving husband to bless his wife with some nice things turned into a shocking and heartbreaking nightmare.
The couple was obviously distraught. The elderly bride was sure her husband would have a heart attack over the stress and disappointment of the situation. The police were called, and true to protocol, advised that the credit card companies be contacted immediately to protect the couple from further losses. Leading the charge to not give up but trust God to restore the purse, the fast thinking and quick to believe employee challenged everyone to search for the bag and pray for the bag to be found, contents and all.
After searching for some time without finding the stolen purse, and to the astonishment of everyone, the police officer returned to his vehicle to find that the purse had been placed on top of his cruiser! It seems that the Holy Spirit, in response to the prayer and believing of God’s people, dealt severely with the perpetrator and “arrested” the thief Himself before he or she could take a dime or even get out of the parking lot.
The story reminds me of Saul’s encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus where he was headed to persecute, harass, and arrest Christians. But it was Saul, who would become the Apostle Paul, that was arrested that day by the power and grace of God. Thank God for His mercy that confronts, convicts, challenges, and changes the human heart. As Saul was transformed so many years ago, so our thief was supernaturally visited and arrested and just had to return the handbag to its rightful owner (or at least give it to the cops).
I want to encourage you if you have had something taken in your life to not give up but go to the Lord and believe God for full and complete restoration. Few people, even believers, would stop to ask the Lord to intervene and truly expect Him to do so in a similar situation. The Bible teaches that we have not because we ask not (James 4:2). Why not go to Him today and ask the Lord to work to restore what is broken or destroyed and return what has been taken? Don’t let your failure to ask be the reason you never see restoration in your life. He is no respecter of persons – but He does respect faith!
When our son Tim was only three years old, Kelli began helping him to memorize Psalm 91. Thirteen years later he can still quote this amazing Psalm of protection. Now that he is sixteen and a licensed driver, I am doubly grateful that these seeds have been sown into his spirit (especially with all the “yayhoos” on the road these days).
In the past week I have personally heard of six automobile accidents involving members of Hope Harbor Church. I’ve never been a “demon behind every bush” kind of believer but I can also sense a strategy and pattern of activity on the part of the enemy to come against the people of God. I am actively believing God for your protection as you travel about during the Christmas season. I am also believing for the blessing to work in the lives of those that have been in accidents that in each case they would increase despite the situation.
I want to encourage you to spend some time this week reading, studying, memorizing, and quoting daily this powerful declaration of protection. The way we activate the promise in our lives is to (1) abide in the secret place of the Most High – that is maintain that intimate, close relationship with the Lord; and (2) declare that the Lord is your refuge because confession brings possession. As you read the corresponding promises of protection and deliverance your faith and confidence in God’s keeping power will grow. I’m including the entire Psalm from the New Living Translation for your convenience. I welcome your testimonies of God’s protection in the comments section of this post.
1Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 This I declare of the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him. 3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague. 4 He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day, 6 nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. 7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. 8 But you will see it with your eyes; you will see how the wicked are punished. 9 If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, 10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your dwelling. 11 For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. 12 They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone. 13 You will trample down lions and poisonous snakes; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! 14 The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. 15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. 16 I will satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation.”