Adversity, Catastrophe, Tragedy — Where Is God?

 

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer!
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer!

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge–
take it to the Lord in prayer!
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield you;
you wilt find a solace there.

Written by Joseph Medlicott Scriven (1820-1886)

 

           

 

“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”  Proverbs 24:10

 

It’s only human nature to panic during crises.  After all we are human.  We think of what to do, how will we recover, are we going to die.  When your world falls apart, seeing past the pain of the present isn’t easy but you can have peace.

When you see people helping one another in times of crises, one of the first responders just might be a local church group.  How many times have you seen that on the news during a travesty such as Texas and Florida have just been through.  The Bible tells us “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11.      Why, because you are all in the same situation.  You are all going through the same trial.  But you say, how can these church people be so uplifting and give out calmness to one another, when they too may have lost everything.  Because, they have the one thing in life that gives them that calm, Jesus.  When you are in Christ your worries are less because whatever the outcome He is the assurance that healing is possible.  As David said in the Psalms “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me.” (138:7)     So, when you see church people singing and joyous, it’s because they are standing on a rock, even when they are waist high in water, and in times of trouble they will just worship the Lord.  See, God is there in the midst of these situations.

Events like these remind us of our fragility and of God’s power, which often lead us to prayer.  Do you remember the aftermath of 911.  People prayed and prayed and prayed.  Who else would there be to go to? God didn’t create that circumstance.  It was pure evil.  People who don’t have a relationship with Christ will try and make God out to be the bad guy.  Why did God let this happen?  Yes, He could have stopped it with a breath.  God does allow such things to play out, but this is when He brings Christians to the forefront to show others, that those of us who are in Christ know that whatever befalls, He is in control and if we die, we die in Christ as we know we will live with Him for eternity.  Whatever hardships, disappointments or sorrow come each day, nothing is wasted when it is shared with Christ.  He can bring Beauty out of the ashes of lost dreams.  He can glean Joy out of sorrow, and Peace out of adversity. Isaiah 61 and Luke 4:18 remind us why Jesus came.  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.” When we are in Christ we want to be like Him and so our job is, not just in times of trouble but all the time, to be like Him and be at the ready to console and love those around us. We all suffer hardships but we have that hope everyone is looking for, in Christ.

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 107:25-28 “For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea.  They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble.  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end.  They cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.”   The lesson is this…He is God.  God doesn’t cause the storms in a person’s life.  On occasion, the storms are a result of a person’s own making.  But there are times when God brings storms into people’s lives for His glory and their eternal good.  The only way to be helped in a helpless situation is to rely on someone stronger, who has a remedy for the situation.  That someone is God.

There is nothing else on this earth that can console the hearts of the men and women of today like Jesus.  “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul.” Matthew 16:26   The loss of life can be a possibility in times of hurricanes and floods, but if all that you lose is a house, you can rebuild, if all you lose is a car you might be able to save for another one.  But in the case of your life, you cannot have a do-over, unless you are in Christ.  We are all going through the same things but the difference is we have Christ and we see the struggle differently, because of mercy, love, hope and grace which we get from Jesus.

BECAUSE JESUS CHANGES EVERYTHING!

These troublesome happenings such as Hurricane Harvey and Irma are just small adversities.  The Bible speaks of trouble, an ordeal of the earth such as an earthquake the likes of which men on earth has ever seen. Revelation 16:18 “And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.”  The Bible also speaks of wars and rumours of wars.  Matthew 24:6  “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.  See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” These will be the beginning of sorrows, not the end of the world.  But if you take Jesus by the hand and let Him lead you through this life, you can be removed from when these catastrophes happen.  These things will not trouble God’s people.

If you are not one of God’s people or if you don’t have Jesus in your life, don’t you think it would be wonderful to be under His care?  Check out the Prayer of Salvation at the top of this page.  It’s up to you and you alone to decide.

 

Don’t assume that God’s dismissed you from His mind
Don’t assume that God’s forgotten to be kind;
For no matter what you do, His love still follows you;
Don’t think that you have left Him far behind.
For His love remains the same
He knows you by your name,
Don’t think because you failed Him He despairs;
For He gives to those who ask His grace for every task,
God plans for you in love for He still cares.

John Gowans

 

When trouble comes…Sometimes God takes us through it, sometimes He helps us in it, sometimes He keeps us from it.  But no matter what, God is in control.  We don’t always understand why such travesty happens…is it because God wants to show those who don’t know Him that they need Him?  Can you imagine if God wasn’t there how much worse things could be?