Summary: What should we do when these cataclysmic events strike? When buildings fall and waters rise? And I would like to suggest that to prepare for disaster we call on 9:11.
Disaster Preparedness: Call 911
Reading: Matthew 14:22-33
We all know where we were and what we were doing 4 years ago today. We remember how we felt because to some degree we have felt that way ever since, and events like Indonesian tsunami and hurricane Katrina and anniversaries such as this one remind us of the frailty of this world. In our lesson today we are going to ask the question: What should we do when these cataclysmic events strike? When buildings fall and waters rise? And I would like to suggest that to prepare for disaster we call on 9:11.
I. HAVE FAITH - NOT FEAR
Vs. 26. “...and they cried out for fear.”
Vs. 27, “...Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
Vs. 30, “...But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid;”.
Vs. 31, “...O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
A. I am not suggesting that we should not express normal emotions of concern and uncertainty. I am saying that fear is not the spiritual response.
1. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”
2. Fear will not comfort anyone. Fear will only bring more anxiety and distress.
B. As we have observed the tragedy and horror that is present on gulf coast resident’s faces over the last 2 weeks, we each have related with them, whether we’re related or not!
1. And we Christians should not be naïve to overlook the fact that the worst is yet to come for this planet.
2. Yet, we must not let fear reign during times of crisis. There are no answers in fear. Only faith will have the answer for us.
C. Just Call 911—
1. Genesis 9:11 “I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.”
2. Do you believe God’s promise? Tsunamis and hurricanes are localized. The rainbow is God giving us His word on this…do we believe Him and trust Him?
3. Jesus said in Mark 11:22 “Have faith in God.”
Then Have Faith and not Fear.
II. PRAY - DON’T PANIC
A. When panic takes over prayer ceases. We must continue to pray for those who are homeless or missing loved ones. We should pray today for all ravaged by terrorism 4 years ago, and for the ongoing worldwide war against it!
B. Just Call 911—
1. Nehemiah 9:11 “You divided the sea before them, So they passed through the midst of the sea on dry ground; And their pursuers You hurled into the depths, Like a stone into raging waters.”
2. The natural man panics…but the supernatural man prays!
a. Job 9:11 “Were He to pass by me, I would not see Him; Were He to move past me, I would not perceive Him.”
b. Job didn’t see God in some low times, but he knew He was there, and he prayed until he got his answer!
3. Psalm 91:1 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
a. It’s hard to see in the shadows, and it can be scary there, until we realized Who cast the shadow!
4. 2 Corinthians 9:11 “…you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.”
Truly, if we have Christ we have it all…we’re rich, we’re blessed, and we should be thankful in all circumstances for this!
III. BELIEVE GOD - DON’T BLAME HIM
A. This is not God’s fault, though we call it an “act of God.” Some will blame Him. Some will turn against Him. Some will suggest that God is punishing certain individuals.
1. It’s part of our nature to make ourselves feel better by assigning blame.
2. Some will seek to blame the President, the government, FEMA, etc. There is a place for responsibility but also understanding!
B. So Call 911—
1. Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all. Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them.”
C. We are sinners in a sin-cursed world and bad things happen. We need to keep our focus on the eternal.
D. We shouldn’t blame God, but believe on Him. Know that He wants to save us from the wages of sin, and He will, if only we obey, like the blind man…