Texans wading through water that covers prized possessions. Floridians fleeing a hurricane that is wider than their state. Forecasts of apocalyptic gale and waves. Wildfires filling the west coast with smoking. An earthquake stones Mexico. Buildings collapse. Tsunamis threaten.
How can this all be happening? How should we answer? And, most of all, where is God? Scripture has answers.
Jesus said, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and superstars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the thundering and tossing of the sea.”( Lk. 21:25, NIV)
Natural tragedies may astound us, but they do not surprise God. Increasing frequency of natural calamities are like the birth pangs of pregnancy–indications of an impending delivery. Christians do not know when Christ will return, but we believe we will see “…the Son of Man coming in the cloud with great power and glory. When these things( natural disasters) begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”( Lk. 21:27 -2 8, NIV)
This is the time to “stand up and lift up.” Lift up prayers. Lift up hope. Lift up your hearts. God is above this storm.
The storm is coming, but God is with us. Look ahead and chart a path to safety. Look around and assure who you can help.
Turn your attention away from the crisis and, for a few minutes, celebrate God. It does you no good to obsess yourself with your difficulty. The more you stare at it, the bigger it grows. Yet, the more you look to God, the quicker the problem is reduced to its proper sizing. This was the strategy of the psalmist 😛 TAGEND
I will lift up my eyes to the hills-
from whence comes my assistance?
My help comes from the Lord,
who attained heaven and earth.( Ps. 121:1, NKJV)
Do you see the intentionality in those words? I will lift up my eyes .
Do not meditate on the mess. You gain nothing by setting your eyes on the tragedies. You gain everything by setting your eyes on the Lord.
This was the lesson that Peter learned on the stormy Sea of Galilee. He was a fisherman. He knew what ten-foot waves could do to small boats. Maybe that is why he was the only one to volunteer to leave the craft.
When he saw Jesus on the water through the blizzard he wept out, “Lord if it is really you, then command me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus said, “Come.”
And Peter left the boat and strolled on the water to Jesus. But when Peter watched the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He wailed, “Lord, save me.”( Mt. 14:28 -3 0, NCV)
As long as Peter focused on the face of Christ, he did the impossible. Yet, when he changed his gaze to the force of the cyclone, he sank like a stone. If you are sink, it is because you are looking in the wrong direction.
Is God sovereign over the hurricane? Is he mightier than your problem? Does he have answers to your questions? According to the Bible, the answer is yes, yes, and yes!
“God…is the blessed controller of all things, the monarch over all kings and the master of all masters”( 1 Tim. 6:15, Phillips ).
If he sustains all and controls all, don’t you think he has authority over this situation you face?
Pray, armed with the knowledge that God is in control. Face the uncertain future with conviction. Our good God in heaven overseeing this stormy world. We may not be able to see his purpose or his plan, but the Lord of heaven is on his throne and in firm control of the universe and our lives.
The storm is coming, but God is with us. Look ahead and chart a track to security. Appear around and ensure who you can help. And look up to the God who loves you. He can be trusted with your future. And he can be trusted with your very life.
Max Lucado is a San Antonio pastor and best-selling writer. His latest book is “Anxious for Nothing: Procuring Calm in a Chaotic World“( Thomas Nelson, September 2017 ). Visit his website at www.MaxLucado.com. Follow him on Twitter @MaxLucado.
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