Summary: We can choose to either be a victim of the hurricane Katrina disaster, or we can choose to overcome our circumstances and be a victor in Christ.
Victim or Victor?
By Pastor Jim May
1 John 5:4, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
It is hard to write a sermon based upon anything else but the disaster from hurricane Katrina right now. I don’t apologize for these messages though because I know that my God is alive and well and that He loves all men equally. I also know that God’s Word is a living Word and is always relevant to what is important to each of us right now. I know that the Spirit of the Lord is trying to minister to those who are hurting in every way possible, no matter whether they are here in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, or in a place that is far away from the disaster. It is my prayer that this message will be a blessing to not only our local congregation, but to those who may read it on the internet and use part, or all of it, to minister to other congregations. In the past 7 days there have been over 70 pastors who have indicated that the messages have helped them. I thank God for this chance to have the internet as a form of outreach ministry.
Being as close as we are to the source of the disaster, we have seen, and continue to see events as they unfold, in ways that people from other places may not see. My focus is always on trying to find something that God would have me to say to His people and as I have listened and watched those who have come through the recent disaster I am struck with the many different reactions that people have.
Some will walk about as zombies, with glassy eyes and a far away stare. They are on drugs or alcohol, at least that’s not what’s causing the look in their eyes. Their look is one of hopelessness, shock and just a feeling of being lost in a world where everything is out of control.
Some walk around with a chip on their shoulder acting as though the world, and everyone around them, owes them something. They shout for their rights to whatever they want. Though many have lost everything, does that give them the right to just take what they want? It’s the “welfare mentality” of generations of people who don’t believe in working on a job, but just sitting back and getting the hand-out. Their attitude is that what’s mine is gone so now, what’s yours in mine. You owe me.
Some walk around with an arrogant attitude that says, "You didn’t have to suffer like I did, so I’m better than you and I deserve to be treated special." They are the “aristocrats”; those who lived in a little higher strata of society. My friend, there’s nothing like a disaster to make the playing field level again. That same arrogance is why they are in the predicament that they are in.
Many of the poor couldn’t get out, or wouldn’t get out, because they were afraid to lose what little they had. Many of the upper class wouldn’t leave because that would be admitting that they can’t do it on their own. Many of the poorest of the poor simply were too caught up in the minute by minute struggle to survive to even give a thought to the warnings to leave.