Harvey. Irma. Fires. Earthquakes. Famine. Drought. War. Flood.
What in the world is going on? And why is it happening?
Judgment. Wrath of God. Climate Change. End Times. Fate. Karma.
Are you panicked? Are you confused by all of the theories, pronouncements, and attempts to explain or justify the disasters, that you cannot find a solid foundation upon which to stand?
We hear a lot about God pouring out his wrath against sinners. And we hear a lot about climate change. And we hear a lot about the end of time. Are these our only choices for processing what is going on?
We live in a frantic time, and we need rest for our weary souls. Maybe it’s time to sit down, pour a cup of coffee, take a deep breath and let the Holy Spirit comfort our spirit.
But how. How do we do that in the midst of everything that is going on in the world? While I am the first to admit I don’t have all the answers, perhaps we can find a little bit of calm if we just pause for a moment and look to God.
One thing God tells us is that it is not our job to judge anyone outside the church (1 Corinthians 5:12). Maybe if we stop trying to explain God’s actions as punishment on the guilty, that would bring us a bit of calm. If God uses natural disasters as judgment on sinners, how would we know? We cannot judge anyone’s heart, only God can, and only God knows best how to mete out judgment.
Our responsibility, when we see, hear, or experience disaster of any kind, is not to judge those who are affected but to perform a heart check of our own! We must not be so quick to condemn others of guilt, but rather hasten to make sure we repent so that we do not perish (Luke 13:1-5).
Is your heart right before God? Have you paused to thank him for your anchor of eternal salvation even as you watched hurricanes move over Texas and Florida? Did you thank him that the fires of hell will not touch you the way they have scorched the earth?
For those who are convinced that every disaster is proof that we are destroying the planet at an alarming rate, that there is barely time left to turn things around, where does God fit into that fear? Have we forgotten who God is?
Perhaps we need to take a deep breath and remember who it is that actually controls the weather (Job 37:3-21). God magnificently created the whole earth, set the stars in the sky and named them, corralled the water in the heavens, and knows exactly when and where to release them for his good purposes.
Have you thanked God that you don’t have to be the one in control? Will you rest in the knowledge that God’s ways are far above our ways, and his thoughts are far above our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9); and therefore we cannot possibly know all that he is working out for our good and his glory in the world.
While we are called to be good stewards of the planet and its resources, God has told us how the earth will end (2 Peter 3), and I believe he will remain fully in control of all things until then. Does it comfort you to know that God is able to keep the world spinning in perfect balance for as long as he desires?
Not only does God direct the storms of life, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, he is also our refuge in the storm; sometimes he calms the storms, sometimes he calms his child in the storm. The solid foundation we can plant our feet on is that the Lord rules. He puts on majesty as if it were clothes. Indeed, the world has been set in place. It is firm and secure (Psalm 93 NIRV).
God is our refuge, our rock, our place of safety, and his plan is perfect. We can rest in his assurance that nothing can thwart his plan. His plan for you and me is to make us holy, and he will complete that plan on the day Jesus returns. We don’t know when that will be, but we know it will happen, and so we must be ready.
Yes, we are to know the signs, however, we can’t think that we can interpret everything perfectly. Even the disciples got the resurrection wrong. That is not an excuse to stop living as though Christ is coming tomorrow – or even today! It is reason, though, to tell others that he is coming. It is reason to live in faith rather than fear.
Yes, I believe sin will be judged and punished. Yes, I believe that God is fully sovereign over the affairs of mankind and of the earth. And, yes, I absolutely believe that Jesus will return soon. My heart and my mind are settled on these truths and my feet are planted on the Solid Rock.
We can only expect to rest in God to the degree we know that he is trustworthy, good, faithful, and sovereign. Do your words and actions, in times of storms, bring uncertainty, or do they lead people toward a God in whom they can rest.
If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider clicking on the “Follow” link in the right-hand column
Marcia’s book is currently available on Amazon: click here