All Posts /

How Can I Believe God Protects Me When Tragedy Strikes?

How Can I Believe God Protects Me When Tragedy Strikes?

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” — Psalm 91:2

In my head, I know God is my Protector. But sometimes my heart struggles to feel protected by God.

At some point in our lives, most of us have experienced some kind of tragedy, extreme heartbreak, rejection, abandonment, or discouragement where we thought life was going one way and then it was hijacked.

In these moments, it’s tempting to wonder,

Has God just looked away?

Maybe that’s where you are right now.

You’ve lain on your bed and stared up at the ceiling and thought, God, where are You? You’ve sobbed into your pillow, scared and alone. You feel like you’re not seeing evidence of God doing something, so you secretly begin to believe that God is doing... nothing.

In John 16:33, Jesus says:

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

If you’ve endured deep hurt, you very much understand the “trouble” Jesus references here. But maybe like me, you struggle sometimes to believe the other words in this verse with your whole heart. That Jesus has overcome the world. That through Him we can experience peace even in the hardships we face.

That’s why I want to provide three truths you can take hold of right now:

  • When it feels like you can’t do anything, there is something you can do.

You may feel completely powerless and terrified in the circumstances you’re looking at. We can’t control what happens to us, but that doesn’t leave us completely out of control. We can recite Psalm 91:2 to our fearful hearts:

I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

Pause right where you are and say, “Lord, You are my refuge and fortress. I am placing my trust in You.” It may not seem like much at first, but by declaring this, you’re doing what can be done tonight. You’re choosing to remember that your job is to be obedient to God; God’s job is everything else.

Reminding ourselves of this truth is something we can do even when it feels like nothing else can be done.

  • Just because you don’t see God’s intervention at this present moment doesn’t mean it’s not happening or that you won’t see it one day.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking I have to see evidence of God working right now in order to believe He’s working in a situation at all. But the thing is, there are two realities always hovering around us. There’s the physical reality we see: the heartbreak, horrific circumstances, the person who is hurting us, the fear and anxiety we’re feeling. And then there’s a spiritual reality that is present where God is working. Simply put, what we see right now isn’t the entire story.

You may not currently see God working in a situation that is breaking your heart. But, friend, we do not serve a do-nothing God. God is always doing something, and that something is always pointed in the direction of ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Rest assured that God is good, God is good to you, and God is good at being God.

  • Even if you feel uncertain, you don’t have to live in uncertainty about God.

It’s very important for us to acknowledge the feelings stirring inside of us. But remember that while feelings are great indicators, they should never be dictators of how we process life.

We may feel afraid but we don’t have to live afraid.
We may feel angry but we don’t have to live angry.
We may feel skeptical but we don’t have to live skeptical.
We may feel uncertain but we don’t have to live uncertain.

Oh friend, whatever you’re dealing with tonight as you prepare to go to sleep, ask God to fill your mind with these truths. And remember: Jesus has overcome the world and He will be your Protector in what you’re walking through right now.

Father God, thank You for reminding me of what is true in light of what presently feels scary. Help my forgetful heart remember what I have read tonight. I know You love me, You are for me, and You’re always working on my behalf. I trust You with all the details of my life and the situations and outcomes I can’t control. In Jesus’ name, amen.

~ Lysa TerKeurst

Excerpted with permission from Clear Mind, Peaceful Heart by Lysa TerKeurst and the Proverbs 31 Team, copyright Proverbs 31 Ministries.

* * *

Your Turn

Are you going through a terrible time right now? Believe me, all your sisters in Christ (including me), know what it’s like. In those dark places, it can feel like God has turned His back, but nothing could be further from the truth! He is with you. He loves you. He’s working on your behalf. Trust in Him because He is trustworthy! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full