Friday, February 15, 2008

God and Disasters

Chuckle: Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."

Good Quote: "The love of God is like the Amazon River flowing down to water a single daisy." --Unknown


"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28 NIV).

I'm sure many of us have asked the question, "Why does God let horrible things happen, like the recent rash of tornados that took approximately 55 lives and did untold millions in damage to homes and other property?" Inherent in this question are certain affirmations for Christians: (1) That God is in control, and (2) That we can't understand God's ways. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" (Isaiah 55:8 NIV).

We can never answer all the questions to everyone's satisfaction. But, for us as Christians, when we ask these questions, we must remember that God is good and we can trust Him. So, we should ask God what he would have us learn and do as a result of these type disasters. Using Luke 12:13-21, our pastor pointed out three major lessons for us. I want to share them with you.

1. Life is more important than possessions. In verses 14-15, we find two brothers squabbling over their inheritance. Jesus knew their hearts and said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (vs. 15). We live in a society of greedy people. We love our stuff. In fact, much of what we do indicates that our stuff is more important to us than anything else. But, did you notice, in the aftermath of the tornados, all people could think about was the safety of their loved ones, not their possessions. It takes a disaster like this to help us put possessions in perspective. It teaches us about values. . . .

2. Eternity is more important than time. In verses 18-21, Jesus shows us how valueless our possessions really are when our lives come to an end. A rich man was worried about where he could store all his possessions. He was content with himself because he had all the material things he would ever need. But in verse 20, Jesus said: "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be required from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God" (verses. 20-21).

3. Generous Christian ministry is always needed. We see the generosity of the American people, especially Christian people, in the face of such terrible need resulting from natural disasters. What if the rich man had used all his riches to honor God by helping others in need? God blesses us so we can bless the lives of others. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of us were less self-centered and greedy and more loving, compassionate, and giving all the time; not just in times of great emergencies.

Love, Jerry & Dotse