August 9th 2009

Where Is God In Disaster?

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
Romans 8:20-21 (NIV)

Hurricanes – floods – earthquakes – tornadoes – fires. The very words can be terrifying.

We know that God is powerful enough to stop such disasters. Sometimes he does act, and we hear stories of miraculous intervention-but more often, we do not.

Why does God let disasters happen? We simply don’t know the full answer to that question.

The Bible does tell us that when sin entered the world, God said that nature itself would work against people. “Cursed is the ground because of you…. It will produce thorns and thistles…until you return to the ground” (Genesis 3:17-19). When Adam and Eve sinned, nature itself somehow went awry-and nature ultimately overwhelms every one of us. We all eventually return to the dust from which we came, as verse 19 says.

Old age will strike us all — unless something else does first.

We pray for the day we’re told about in Acts 3:21 when “the time comes for God to restore everything” but we still have to live in a world gone awry.

Bad things happen to good people as well as to the bad. During his severe trial, Job said, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15).

We live by that kind of trust-knowing that the God who did not spare his own Son will never cut us off, even though we walk into the valley of the shadow of death, even though we fall prey to death itself.

The God who spared not his own Son also rescued his Son after he went through that valley of death, and he promises to rescue us, too.

The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:26 that when one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it. That includes the head of the body, Jesus Christ.

In other words, God is right there in the midst of the disaster, in his people, suffering along with them. And God is also in the midst of the disaster working through his people who stand with him, moved to compassion, not putting their energy into casting blame, but into helping out, to making a positive difference.

God of compassion, thank you that you are there in the midst of suffering to comfort us and give us hope.

Study by Joseph Tkach 

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