We have taken prayers out of schools, we murder innocent babies at a whim or out of convenience, we take down every monument and reference to Him, we push Him out of our lives, yet we still ask when tragedy strikes. Where is God?
Texans wading through water that covers prized possessions. Floridians fleeing a hurricane that is wider than their state. Forecasts of apocalyptic wind and waves. Wildfires filling the west coast with smoke. An earthquake rocks Mexico. Buildings collapse. Tsunamis threaten.
How can this all be happening? How should we respond? And, most of all, where is God? Scripture has answers.
Jesus said, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” (Lk. 21:25, NIV)
Natural disasters may surprise us, but they do not surprise God. Increasing frequency of natural calamities are like the birth pangs of pregnancy—indications of an impending delivery. Christians do not know when Christ will return, but we believe we will see “…the Son of Man coming in the cloud with great power and glory. When these things (natural disasters) begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Lk. 21:27-28, NIV)
This is the time to “stand up and lift up.” Lift up prayers. Lift up hope. Lift up your hearts. God is above this storm.
The storm is coming, but God is with us. Look ahead and chart a path to safety. Look around and see who you can help.
Turn your attention away from the crisis and, for a few minutes, celebrate God. It does you no good to obsess yourself with your trouble. The more you stare at it, the bigger it grows. Yet, the more you look to God, the quicker the problem is reduced to its proper size. This was the strategy of the psalmist:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills-
from whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. (Ps. 121:1, NKJV)
Do you see the intentionality in those words? I will lift up my eyes.
Do not meditate on the mess. You gain nothing by setting your eyes on the calamities. You gain everything by setting your eyes on the Lord.
This was the lesson that Peter learned on the stormy Sea of Galilee. He was a fisherman. He knew what ten-foot waves could do to small boats. Maybe that is why he was the only one to volunteer to leave the craft.
When he saw Jesus on the water through the storm he cried out, “Lord if it is really you, then command me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus said, “Come.”
And Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. But when Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He shouted, “Lord, save me.” (Mt. 14:28-30, NCV)
As long as Peter focused on the face of Christ, he did the impossible. Yet, when he shifted his gaze to the force of the storm, he sank like a stone. If you are sinking, it is because you are looking in the wrong direction.
Is God sovereign over the hurricane? Is he mightier than your problem? Does he have answers to your questions? According to the Bible, the answer is yes, yes, and yes!
“God…is the blessed controller of all things, the king over all kings and the master of all masters” (1 Tim. 6:15, Phillips).
If he sustains all and controls all, don’t you think he has authority over this situation you face?
Pray, armed with the knowledge that God is in control. Face the uncertain future with conviction. Our good God in heaven overseeing this stormy world. We may not be able to see his purpose or his plan, but the Lord of heaven is on his throne and in firm control of the universe and our lives.
The storm is coming, but God is with us. Look ahead and chart a path to safety. Look around and see who you can help. And look up to the God who loves you. He can be trusted with your future. And he can be trusted with your very life. source
Why does God allow earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, typhoons, cyclones, mudslides, wildfires, and other natural disasters? Tragedies cause many people to question God’s goodness. It is distressing that natural disasters are often termed “acts of God” while no “credit” is given to God for years, decades, or even centuries of peaceful weather.
God created the whole universe and the laws of nature (Genesis 1:1). Most natural disasters are a result of these laws at work. Hurricanes, typhoons, and tornados are the results of divergent weather patterns colliding. Earthquakes are the result of the earth’s plate structure shifting. A tsunami is caused by an underwater earthquake.
The Bible proclaims that Jesus Christ holds all of nature together (Colossians 1:16-17). Could God prevent natural disasters? Absolutely! Does God sometimes influence the weather? Yes, as we see in Deuteronomy 11:17 and James 5:17. Numbers 16:30-34 shows us that God sometimes causes natural disasters as a judgment against sin.
The book of Revelation describes many events which could definitely be described as natural disasters (Revelation chapters 6, 8, and 16). Is every natural disaster a punishment from God? Absolutely not. For one thing, such events shake our confidence in this life and force us to think about eternity. Churches are usually filled after disasters as people realize how tenuous their lives really are and how life can be taken away in an instant.
What we do know is this: God is good! Many amazing miracles occurred during the course of natural disasters that prevented even greater loss of life. Natural disasters cause millions of people to reevaluate their priorities in life. Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid is sent to help the people who are suffering. Christian ministries have the opportunity to help, minister, counsel, pray, and lead people to saving faith in Christ! God can, and does, bring great good out of terrible tragedies (Romans 8:28).