But deliver us from evil

Today we’ll take a look at the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, “But deliver us from evil.”

22 We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.                                                                                 – Acts 14:22

Rejected.  Persecuted.  Black-listed from the country.  Gossiped about.  Labeled “public enemy #1.”  Knocked unconscious during a murder attempt.  Left alone to die.

These are all things that had just happened to the Apostle Paul.  Why?  Was he in a drug deal gone bad?  Was he caught running a Ponzi scheme?  No.  He was doing world mission work.  Some listened to what Jesus had to say.  Others exploded in violence.  In the end, what was the big message headlining his mission activity?  “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” he said.  And he continued to hold out the word of life wherever he went.    

Sometimes Christians slip into a mindset of entitlement.  “I’m a Christian; I worship the One who is in control of everything.”  Playing God, they assume, “Therefore, I should be immune from evil attacks.”

God never once promises us immunity from evil.  But he does promise deliverance from evil.  We can expect that evil will touch our lives.  We can also expect that our careful Savior will limit the evil so that it won’t sweep us away.  We can expect our gracious Savior to bring relief at just the right time.  And we can expect our powerful Savior to deliver us from evil in the end.

Steer away from entitlement.  Steer towards peaceful perseverance.  Yes, we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.  But in Jesus, we enter!

Prayer (written by Martin Luther, about the words, “But deliver us from evil”):

Let your holy angel be with us, that the wicked foe may have no power over us.  Be with us in the valley of death’s shadow, and in this time of waiting for your dawn.  Protect us from every danger that threatens body and soul.  Bring us safely through every evil to the everlasting joy of your heavenly kingdom.   Amen.

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