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Summary: 3 questions people ask regrading a tragedy. Written after Hurricane Katrina.

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Natural catastrophes always raise certain big questions, here are 3:

1. If God is all loving and all-powerful, why does he allow such devastating events to occur?

2. Does God deliberately make them occur?

3. Does God punish people with natural disasters?

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1. If God is all loving and all-powerful, why does he allow such devastating events to occur?

It is from hardship that hope is born.

One of the greatest gifts is freedom and God gave us a free-will allowing us to make choices for our lives both good and bad. It began in the Garden of Eden:

Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Ge 3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

Ge 3:3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”

Ge 3:4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.

Ge 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Ge 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Ge 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened,

From this passage, we gain insight into God, Satan and ourselves.

We learn that God has allowed choices from the very beginning. He did not have to make the tree, but He wanted humankind to have freewill and the choice to choose to do what is right. This can only be available by the presence and option of evil along with good.

God allows choices and gives us the freedom to choose right or wrong without coercion, but simply says there is a reward for those who choose to do good and punishment for those who choose evil.

Satan on the other hand is all about coercion and he is all about tempting us to choose any choice that will discredit and dishonor God. Satan would put the question to us, “If God is all loving and all-powerful, why does he allow such devastating events as hurricanes to occur? This puts our focus and thoughts on blaming God or the whether forecasters, I even heard some people blaming the president. Satan puts it in our minds to accuse. To point a finger of blame some where. He does this in order to get our minds off what is possible with God and on to anything else. It is Satan who wants us to think if God were a loving and powerful God, surly he would care for us better than He does.

Meanwhile the message God is communicating to us is, I am loving, I am powerful, I am able, I am aware, I do know. Then He lets us choose doubt or faith. Will we spend our time and energy questioning what we cannot change? Will we allow judgment and bitterness to creep in? Or can we accept that God is in control of all things, accept what we cannot change, and change what we can?

What does Genesis chapter 3 teach us about ourselves? It teaches us that from the beginning we had a desire to know as much as God. And it also teaches us we never will.

2. Does God deliberately make Natural Disasters occur?

Yes. Why?

Lk 11:9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Lk 11:10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Lk 11:11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?

Lk 11:12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

Lk 11:13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

God gives the gifts we need if we ask. The key is to be biblical in asking. We should never pray, “God get me out of this mess.” Rather we know to pray ahead of time asking, “Lord, help me to hear your voice and walk in your ways.” We should never pray, “Lord get me out of this mess.” Rather we should pray, “Lord, help me to avoid getting into a mess.” As Christians, we are led by the Lord, not bailed out by Him. We are here to serve Him, not Him here to serve us.

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