<<misfortune, disaster, catastrophe>>
Job suffered one major disaster after another (Job 1:13-19). Even though he was devastated his attitude was one of worship and his reaction, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21). What is my response even when just one thing goes wrong – not a whole series of catastrophes? His perspective was one of trust and confidence that God was in control even though he didn’t know why these things were happening. His friends meant well but said his problems were because of his personal sin. God does send judgment on sinners but it is wrong to assume that because someone is experiencing intense trials they are outside His covering or protection. It was in fact God proving to Satan, that Job did not just honour God because of the blessings received. “Job still maintains his integrity, though you [Satan] incited me against him to ruin him without any reason” (Job 2:3).
“I will never leave or forsake you” – Hebrews 13:5
us towards His divine plan. Seemingly bad things don’t happen to me but for me! They are divinely orchestrated; He will use it for my advantage if I keep my heart right. Don’t view them as setbacks, rather as setups for God to show Himself strong on your behalf (2 Chr 16:9). God would not have allowed it unless He has a purpose for my good. Position yourself in the place to receive blessing, by yielding to the Holy Spirit and submitting to His Lordship, acknowledging that having Him is all that really counts (Hab 3:17,18). Establish a solid foundation and maintain a confident belief in Him so you can stand when the storms come as well as supporting others in their times of distress (Mt 7:24-27, 13:20,21; 2 Cor 1:4; Gal 6:2). Get a true grasp of our need of Him, what He wants to do in us so His ultimate purpose can come about.
Those who love God are not exempt from suffering. Never has He offered anyone who believes in Him a trouble free existence. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Act 14:22). Only God knows the real reason behind the calamities that occur in the world and that may happen to us on an individual basis. “I, the Lord, create disaster” (Isa 45:7). Is this to get people’s attention? “When your judgments come the people learn righteousness” (Isa 26:9). Even the troubles designed by man God is able to turn around for good (Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28). God will use whatever we go through to propel us towards His divine plan for us.
Admit He is greater than the storms of life, that by His grace and enabling you’ll love and stay true to Him; “Though He slay me, yet I will still hope in Him” (Job 13:15). “Our God is able to deliver us, but if not we will still be faithful to Him” was the confession of the three Hebrew men about to be thrown into the furnace (Dan 3:17,18). The Lord has the last word, not the devil, circumstances or people. By remaining faithful to Him, we too will come out refined as gold tried in the fire (Job 23:10). Will I trust God no matter what happens or will I take offense that He has permitted this devastating event. Our faith must be tested to be proven genuine and bring glory to God (1Pet 1:6,7). He wouldn’t have allowed it unless He has a purpose for my good. There are many challenges to our commitment to follow Christ.
Various natural disasters are sometimes termed ‘Acts of God’. These are major calamities in the physical realm that occur for which no one can be held accountable.