Dear Brother: God’s Protection for Christians in the Military

Time: 6 Minutes

Dear brother,

I know your vocation requires your astute awareness of your position under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1).

I pray for your protection often, that “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4 NIV).

You are now—and you continue to be—so in need of reminders that you reside under the Great Wings. Thank God for his Word. I hope that what you read here will make you love our Almighty God more and inspire you to say with more confidence, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2 NIV).

Grandpa loved Psalm 91. He traveled the world and really believed this promise to be true: God will protect his children. We’ve heard lots of stories of God being faithful to this promise. I hope you keep believing it too.

Grandpa’s God, the Psalmist’s God, and the God of the Bible—he is your God. Thus you have his protection.

He will keep you safe until whatever he has ordained for you to be, or do, is accomplished. I can’t wait to read your whole story one day.

He has gifted you uniquely for the work you do, from your biceps to your brains. He’s going to put them to good use to bless the world, I’m sure of it.


God Promises His Protection to You

God has revealed through a myriad of promises in the Bible that he means to protect you, his child (Psalm 5:11; 20:1; 91:14).

One thing we learn through Psalm 91 is that God does not always reveal the means by which he’ll keep this promise. You don’t have to see the Lord’s “secret service” members at work; they are always there.

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:11-12 NIV)

God actively and effectively eliminates your enemies. You may be asleep to the workings of his heavenly elite on your behalf, but you have the promise that he’s vigilantly defending you as you walk into danger.

You know that our worst enemies are unseen (Ephesians 6:12). It seems we are in far more danger than we can perceive, soldier or not.

But God’s favor toward you is strong. He contentedly fights for you out-of-sight. He’s committed to combatting evil on your behalf, though it might take you until eternity to praise him for it.

You must trust that he keeps his promises, for he never lies (Titus 1:2). He’s said he’ll protect you, and he’s hard at work whether you see it or not. Rest in that promise.


God Protected You in the Past

Sometimes it’s hard to believe God is protecting us because of the danger we do see. Physical enemies, pain, and death stare you down daily. I can’t imagine real bullets, blood, and bombs. It makes me shudder.

But if God said it, we have to believe it. Here’s his promise in Psalm 91—no harm can get to you.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the LORD, who is my refuge—then no harm will befall you, no disaster come near your tent. (Psalm 91:7-10 NIV) 

How can this be? How can God say no harm will befall you?

You know the answer, but it’s always worth repeating: The worst danger to face mankind is universally inescapable apart from the pure grace of God. And you have miraculously come through it.

You were God’s enemy (Romans 5:1). And “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31 ESV)—the most fearful thing. You had no way to escape the eternal judgment of God’s vengeful wrath for your sin, which you actually deserve.

But God intervened.

He opened your eyes to see the danger you faced. You experienced the miracle of conviction over your sin, because God granted it. Through his Word, God revealed to you the message of salvation and gave you faith: that you could be reconciled to God through the death of his Son, Jesus Christ, and be saved by his life (Romans 5:1).

He gave you Jesus’ righteousness—a uniform any military decoration pales to in comparison. He gave you his status: a son in the kingdom of God—a higher position than any this world can offer. He gave you his favor and his love—a bulwark mightier than death itself.

And he gave you his word that you will be rewarded for his righteousness with an eternity in perfect safety with God, who is the very fount of joy and life.

Our dear Jesus told us this:

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28 NIV)

Don’t be afraid. Harm and disaster are relative. You might get hurt, though I pray God would mercifully shelter you from physical harm. Jesus tells us that not even a little bird falls to the ground apart from our Heavenly Father’s will (Matthew 10:29). You’re much more precious to him than they are. He won’t let anything touch you that hasn’t gone through him first. You’re safe in his hands, his wisdom, and his plan.


God Will Protect You Forever

And so, you find yourself under the Shadow of the Almighty. You are his child, and he has sworn to you his eternal protection. Your soul is safe, and that’s the most precious part of you.

Whether in secret, in your sight, or by a million different means, your God will spread his protection over you. But you will face many enemies, whether men, angels of darkness, weapons, or your own weakness and sin.

But he’s “able to keep you from stumbling”—so that your own sinful heart will not conquer in the end.

He’s able “to present you blameless before the presence of his glory”—silencing the accusations, attacks, discouragement, and despairing whispers of your unseen enemies, while triumphing over your physical enemies by raising you in glory with him for all eternity.

And he’s able to do these things “with great joy” because you are no longer his enemy, but his redeemed son through Jesus Christ (Jude 24-25 ESV).

He’s not only able, he is also willing, and he has promised to do these things for you:

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16 ESV)

Love, Your Sister

Editor’s Note: This letter was written to the author’s brother, who serves in the United States Military. This article was originally published at Unlocking the Bible here, and has been adapted for
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