The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. (Psalm 121:7-8) (emphasis added)
I know a problem when I see one. Those verses appear to promise that nothing will touch a righteous person, but we know that is just not true. Righteous people get sick, are in accidents, are slandered, hurt, or killed. Ten of the original twelve disciples were martyred. So does God promise to protect us or not?
Maslow’s second need in his hierarchy, right after our physiological needs is the need for safety. I am not a theologian, and I don’t want to mess this up, but I am realizing that while God can choose to keep us from illness, accident, hurt, and death––and often does without our even knowing it––He will not––cannot––eliminate it completely without eliminating the consequences of original sin or eliminating free will. Illness and evil are now realities.
However, as I was studying God’s assurance of protection, I began to realize two things. First, that it is God, and only God, who is able to deliver us from all troubles; and second, that most of the verses indicate that God wasn’t promising to keep us from all suffering, He was 1) promising to be with us through all suffering, and/or promising to protect us from Satan’s attacks: temptation, discouragement, despair, guilt, shame, depression, anger, sadness––as in the following verses.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Ps. 46:1-3)
“He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalm 121:3)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. I Corinthians 10:13
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thes. 3:3)
"He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.” (Psalm 121:3)
Yes, God is faithful to His promise of protection. As Psalm 34:19 says the LORD does deliver the righteous from all their troubles, and He will. If not in this lifetime, then through His promise of eternal life, where “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)