The Christian Response to Calamity

Aerial_view_of_2013_Moore_tornado_damageDid you know that this same God who rules the weather also rules over human events?  There have been tragedies lately, notably the terrible tornadoes that ripped through the suburbs of Oklahoma City and the floods in the San Antonio area.  Our hearts ache for those who have been affected by tragedy.

As Christians, we are blessed to be able to make sense of these things.  We understand from God’s word that this world that we live in, and the people in it, are under God’s judgment for sin.  From time to time death and destruction occur as a small foretaste of the judgment to come upon all people for sin.  Those who are found in Christ on that day will be judged to be righteous for the sake of Christ’s righteousness counted in their place.  It is a mercy of God that he allows terrible tragedy to occur to both the redeemed and unbelievers in this life.  This does not mean that those who are affected when calamities happen are more sinful than others in this world.  It just means that as human beings are all by nature under God’s judgment for our rebellion against him.  These terrible events give those who remain and are still alive an opportunity to reflect and consider their ways, in order that they will turn from their sins and believe in Jesus Christ whom the Father has sent to be the Savior of the world.  God is sending them a message through the calamities in this world, giving them a chance.

As Christians the way to respond to sad events like these which affect our community or other communities is by worshiping God, exercising faith in Him.  God is sovereign over such human events.  They occur by His will.  As believers, we are assured that no matter how difficult or impossible it may seem at a given moment, no matter how hard it is to understand how a given tragedy fits into God’s plan, all of these things are a part of God’s plan for good.  Even the bad things that happen in this world are tending toward a good purpose in God’s plan.  It takes faith to believe this, because we can’t always see how something so terrible could possibly be used for good.  But we have a God who delights to bring good out of evil, as he has from the time that he used Joseph’s sale and slavery in Egypt as a way to save the whole family of Israel during a great famine, to His providing an atonement for sinners through the worst crime mankind has ever committed, the crucifixion of the Lord of Glory.

So, as Christians, our response to tragedy should be to worship God, in faith that His ways are above our ways, and that His way is ultimately and eternally the best way, in the context of the whole plan.  Let us be as Job, who, when he learned that he had lost everything he owned and all his children “arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped” the sovereign God whose will rules all things. Job 1:20

The understanding that we have as Christians of evil, and why bad things happen in this world, is a blessing that lets us make sense of it.  And when we have opportunity, let us carefully, compassionately, and appropriately share this faith of ours with others who are struggling in times of tragedy, that we have a good God who is working even these bad things for His own good purpose.  What a comfort!

And, knowing that God is sovereign encourages us to bring everything to Him in prayer.

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Categories: Current Events, Pastoral | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “The Christian Response to Calamity

  1. Stefan

    A terribly sad view and description of God’s power. If on one hand He determines all of this destruction, and every other awful event in the world, how can He then hold anyone accountable for the actions he pre-ordained them to make.

    That is a great injustice – and it seems to me, to be very un – Biblical

    • You forget that you’re talking about the Creator.

      Romans 9:19 (ESV) You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

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