Though God is capable of the kind of physical salvation or deliverance that He indicates He will give to His people in Psalm 91, His general advice to His people is to "flee, get out, get away from the trouble." Even though God could protect one in the midst of trouble, He still gives this general advice. David authored Psalm 3 (where he said he felt safe surrounded by ten thousand people) while fleeing. So this in no way denigrates God, and it in no way makes for a "cowardly Christian" when he flees persecution and possibly certain death. We have to understand that God places responsibilities on us. As we take His advice—to flee—He will "open up the mountain" before us, so we can follow the path that He makes clear for us.
John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)
The question always is: How do we endure to the end no matter what we face now or in the future? Like Christ and Paul, how can we set our minds so that we see our burdens and afflictions as “light” (Matthew 11:30)? This is critical because, if we consider our trials as too much to bear, will we endure? But if we see our trials as light, whatever they may be, enduring to the end almost becomes assured.
So how do we make this mindset a part of our lives? In II Corinthians 4:17, Paul gives us something to consider: “which is but for a moment. . . .”
The simple fact is that, when compared to eternity, our existence in this life—no matter how long—is but for a moment. Several scriptures emphasize this reality:
» For He remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that passes away and does not come again. (Psalm 78:39)
» Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. (James 4:14)
» Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue. (Job 14:1-2)
Our lives are only a moment in time when compared to eternity. After a thousand years under Christ's rule, will today's pains even be a memory? Many readers have had a taste of how this works: Ladies with children have experienced how a short period of intense pain in the now can be overwhelmed by the joy that comes afterward (John 16:21). It must be a light burden in comparison, because many knowing the pain will repeat the experience, and for some, often. In subsequent years, how often does the memory come back? Probably not often, if at all.
A helpful practice, then, is to embed in our thinking this foundational concept of just how short our lives are compared to eternity. This takes prayer and meditation to make this a living reality for each of us, helping to guard against being overwhelmed by the now.
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Matthew 10:22: