Summary: A broadcast of a news clip said that through Katrina our Nation has been called to do something, but I think God has called Christians to do something!
Date Preached ________
Where Preached _________
What Does God Call Us to Do in the Middle of Tragedy?
This has been a couple of weeks that our country and our church will never forget. Preaching involves at least two responsibilities. The first is to explain the Bible and relate it to life. The second is to take life and explain it in light of Scripture. My goal this morning is to accomplish both of these purposes.
Like you, I have experienced a wide variety of emotions over the last two weeks. I’ve been in shock, disbelief; I have been concerned about our friends to the south. And I’ve been ambushed by a flood of tears on several occasions as I try to imagine the grief that thousands of families are experiencing right now. It’s normal, natural and necessary to allow our emotions to come out. Jesus said in Matthew 5:4: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Why did God allow this tragedy?
There are three main opinions I have heard people talk about over the last two weeks that are relative to this question. The first is this one: God caused it, for either a testing or a punishment. Deuteronomy 31:29 – says: In days to come, disaster will fall upon you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and provoke him to anger by what your hands have made."
The second opinion is this: Satan caused it, to bring harm and destruction to those he hates - everyone. Example of Job - Satan was behind the entire series of disasters that happened to Job.
And the third opinion is this: God allowed it (though maybe not causing it directly) for reasons we may never know.
So which is it? I don’t know. It might be all three, or combinations of one or two, or it may have happened for reasons that fall outside of all these reasons. We simply don’t know.
But one thing I can say with absolute assurance: God is still in absolute control, and He can and does work in the midst of even such huge tragedies as this one.
So What Should We Do When Tragedy Strikes?
1. Put Your Faith in God.
When we think about strengthening our faith, we can learn from the story of Job. The Bible says that Job was a perfect man, a righteous man, a man who turned from evil. but, in one big swoop everything that had meaning and purpose or made sense for Job was lost.
The Sabeans rustled all his oxen and donkeys and killed all the herdsmen.
Fire struck the sheep and the shepherds and burned them up.
The Chaldeans raided the camels, carried them off, and put all the drivers to death.
A whirlwind swept across the desert, struck his eldest son’s house, and killed all of Job’s sons and daughters while they were dining.( Job 1:13-19)
To top if off, Job broke out in running sores from head to foot, and in disgust his wife said to him. "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9)
There he was. Job the righteous. Job the affluent. Job the successful. Job the powerful. Everything was gone. His world had crashed. Everything was wiped out.
What would you do? What would you do if you lost it all? What would you do if your children were taken from you? What would do if your spouse said, "Curse God and die?"
Look at Job and his response. Here was a sick man sitting in an ash pile. Notice his action: "Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshipped" (Job 1:20).
He remembered the source of His strength. He remembered the hope of his future. He remembered that God said that He would never leave him nor forsake him. It is rather strange, isn’t it? Everything was lost, and Job fell down on the ground and worshipped.
In essence, Job is saying, "Even though, tragedy has struck my life and I’ve lost it all, I trust God and I know that everything will be all right." We read in Job 19:25,26
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.
It is my hope that we keep our faith and be reminded that we are not alone. I believe that God will supply us with a power that is greater than ourselves to bring us through the difficulties that we face.
In 1 John 5:12 – we see these words: He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.