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Author Topic: Questions in Times of Great Disaster  (Read 630 times)
Butterbean
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« on: July 16, 2011, 07:00:57 AM »

(from recent Charles Stanley [sorry Migs!] devotionals)

Read | Isaiah 55:8-9

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.



Whenever a great disaster strikes, legitimate questions spring to mind. Why does the Lord let such things happen? Couldn’t He have stopped this? Doesn’t He care? The magnitude of death and destruction caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, or floods strips away all the everyday thoughts that normally occupy our minds and causes us to seek explanations for suffering.

Often we answer our own questions based on our relationship with God. Those who know nothing of Him have no frame of reference for understanding how He works. However, believers in Christ have the Bible to guide them as they wrestle through these issues. But even then, the accuracy of one’s perspective is determined by his or her knowledge of God’s Word. Those with a limited understanding of Scripture may very well come to inaccurate conclusions.

We must guard against attempts at forcing God to act as we think He should. If He does something that won’t fit into the box we’ve designed for Him, we easily become upset, angry, or confused. The Lord will never stay within the parameters we set for Him. Since we are mortal, earth-bound, and sinful, we have a very narrow perspective and understanding of life. But our eternal, sinless, sovereign, and omniscient Creator sees and knows what we cannot perceive.

We want to be sure that our viewpoint of God’s role in natural disasters comes from the Bible, not from our own limited “boxed perspective.” Scripture tells us of the Lord’s love, faithfulness, and wisdom. Whenever we cannot understand His ways, faith in His goodness must be our foundation.




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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 07:02:28 AM »

Read | Deuteronomy 29:29

29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Almighty God reserves the right to reveal some things and conceal others. Although we may not know why natural disasters occur, the biblical truths we do know with absolute certainty allow us to trust the Lord even in times of great suffering. These include:

1. God is in control (Ps. 103:19). Nothing in heaven or on earth is outside of His rule and authority. He does not react to events but sovereignly ordains or permits them to run their course. Although we cannot know for certain if He has sent a catastrophe or allowed it, we can trust in His goodness and wisdom.

2. The Lord loves people and wants them to be saved (John 3:16-17). Giving
His Son for the salvation of the world proves without a doubt that He loves each person. This truth stands firm despite the fact that many reject the Savior. He cares for us, even when we can’t feel it or won’t accept it.

3. God ordains or permits events for His good purpose (Isa. 46:10). Though we cannot fully comprehend what He is doing in each incident, every disaster is a wake-up call for humanity. He is alerting us of the need to repent—so the lost can be saved and the saved can be revived to live totally for Him. Catastrophes open our ears to hear from the Lord.

The One who loves us perfectly is in full control, working everything out according to His good purpose. Knowing this should fill us with hope, even in the midst of crisis situations. The Lord even promises to turn disaster to good for those who “are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 01:18:20 PM »

(from recent Charles Stanley [sorry Migs!] devotionals)

Read | Isaiah 55:8-9

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.



Whenever a great disaster strikes, legitimate questions spring to mind. Why does the Lord let such things happen? Couldn’t He have stopped this? Doesn’t He care? The magnitude of death and destruction caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, or floods strips away all the everyday thoughts that normally occupy our minds and causes us to seek explanations for suffering.

Often we answer our own questions based on our relationship with God. Those who know nothing of Him have no frame of reference for understanding how He works. However, believers in Christ have the Bible to guide them as they wrestle through these issues. But even then, the accuracy of one’s perspective is determined by his or her knowledge of God’s Word. Those with a limited understanding of Scripture may very well come to inaccurate conclusions.

We must guard against attempts at forcing God to act as we think He should. If He does something that won’t fit into the box we’ve designed for Him, we easily become upset, angry, or confused. The Lord will never stay within the parameters we set for Him. Since we are mortal, earth-bound, and sinful, we have a very narrow perspective and understanding of life. But our eternal, sinless, sovereign, and omniscient Creator sees and knows what we cannot perceive.

We want to be sure that our viewpoint of God’s role in natural disasters comes from the Bible, not from our own limited “boxed perspective.” Scripture tells us of the Lord’s love, faithfulness, and wisdom. Whenever we cannot understand His ways, faith in His goodness must be our foundation.

Good post!  Reminds me of:
 
Ecclesiastes 9:11,12

(11)" Here is something else I have learned:The fastest runners and the greatest heroes don't always win races and battles. Wisdom, intelligence, and skill don't always make you healthy, rich, or popular. We each have our share of bad luck. (12) None of us know when we might fall victim to a sudden disaster and find ourselves like fish in a net or birds in a trap."

    


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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 11:29:17 AM »

A post of mine from another thread....thx!

For me, the hardest aspects of "evil" pertain to natural disasters and the divine purpose(s) for them.  People's ability to choose good or evil is not in question for me....maybe the article will give more perspective on that.  Again, it's the necessity for calamity, destruction outside the scope of free will that leaves many flat.  I've read some great perspectives, but the simplist explanation for me resides in the timelessness of God, the brevity of human life in comparison to eternity and the idea that natural disasters ("evil") often bring out the best in others ("good").  The potential for goodness is often more clearly evident through the shroud of evil, the brightest light is most distinguishable in the depths of darkness, genuine love is often found as a result of the greatest evil.  I also look at the timelessness of God and realize that his perspective is infinite while our is finite.  God can perceive past, present and future in one state eliminating the element of time while we can only review the past, live in the present and imagine the future.  In the face of natural disasters we only see the present calamity, but what about the unity of people, the colloboration of neighbors, the union of community and other aspects of goodness we can't see but that do arise out of natural "evil" that God has clearly scoped out.  Will this notion comfort those left behind that have lost loved ones in the face of natural disaster?  Unfortunately for some it won't, but for other that know the love of God it does.   I also consider the brevity of human life....the fact that death as perceived by us is simply not the same perception as defined by God.  For unbelievers death is the end, but for believers  human lives are a vapor, a blink of eye in comparison to eternity.  If a man took a single grain of sand from one side of the world to the other every 100,000 years and repeated this process until every grain of sand was transported eternity would have only just begun.   Our lives are merely a preparation for what is to come (if you belief).  If you don't belief then the natural disasters and other evils of the world appear illogical if the existance of an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing God is real.  Why can't he simply snuff them out?  He doesn't snuff them out because he can't....those types of ideas.  I have experienced the love of God, I have experienced firsthand the miracles in my own life.  I'm covered by the Holy Spirit everyday and have not a single reservation about God's existance or love.  Sure I wish I had all the answers and could comprehend the full scope of God's plan, but I can't.  We all make some grand assumptions and try and eliminate or put God in a box and there are some brilliant minds out there that can blend together words and erase the need for God.  For me the greatest answers lie in the personal relationship I have with Christ.  The aspect that unbelievers miss is the genuine, open-hearted, humble pursuit of a relationship with God.  He knows the contents of our hearts and will respond accordingly.  I dare nonbelievers to pursue a genuine relationship with God and see if he doesn't respond.  That's all I want for others.....to know the love of God. 
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 08:13:44 PM »


A post of mine from another thread....thx!


Quote
Man of Steel on July 08, 2011, 07:59:55 AM

For me, the hardest aspects of "evil" pertain to natural disasters and the divine purpose(s) for them.  People's ability to choose good or evil is not in question for me....maybe the article will give more perspective on that.  Again, it's the necessity for calamity, destruction outside the scope of free will that leaves many flat.  I've read some great perspectives, but the simplist explanation for me resides in the timelessness of God, the brevity of human life in comparison to eternity and the idea that natural disasters ("evil") often bring out the best in others ("good").  The potential for goodness is often more clearly evident through the shroud of evil, the brightest light is most distinguishable in the depths of darkness, genuine love is often found as a result of the greatest evil.  I also look at the timelessness of God and realize that his perspective is infinite while our is finite.  God can perceive past, present and future in one state eliminating the element of time while we can only review the past, live in the present and imagine the future.  In the face of natural disasters we only see the present calamity, but what about the unity of people, the colloboration of neighbors, the union of community and other aspects of goodness we can't see but that do arise out of natural "evil" that God has clearly scoped out.  Will this notion comfort those left behind that have lost loved ones in the face of natural disaster?  Unfortunately for some it won't, but for other that know the love of God it does.   I also consider the brevity of human life....the fact that death as perceived by us is simply not the same perception as defined by God.  For unbelievers death is the end, but for believers  human lives are a vapor, a blink of eye in comparison to eternity.  If a man took a single grain of sand from one side of the world to the other every 100,000 years and repeated this process until every grain of sand was transported eternity would have only just begun.   Our lives are merely a preparation for what is to come (if you belief).  If you don't belief then the natural disasters and other evils of the world appear illogical if the existance of an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing God is real.  Why can't he simply snuff them out?  He doesn't snuff them out because he can't....those types of ideas.  I have experienced the love of God, I have experienced firsthand the miracles in my own life.  I'm covered by the Holy Spirit everyday and have not a single reservation about God's existance or love.  Sure I wish I had all the answers and could comprehend the full scope of God's plan, but I can't.  We all make some grand assumptions and try and eliminate or put God in a box and there are some brilliant minds out there that can blend together words and erase the need for God.  For me the greatest answers lie in the personal relationship I have with Christ.  The aspect that unbelievers miss is the genuine, open-hearted, humble pursuit of a relationship with God.  He knows the contents of our hearts and will respond accordingly.  I dare nonbelievers to pursue a genuine relationship with God and see if he doesn't respond.  That's all I want for others.....to know the love of God.
 



Wow! Heartfelt post friend! Enjoyed the read.


In regard to the highlighted, whats your thought on this view. In the book Natural Disasters—Acts of God or Acts of Man? it had this to say: "There is no evidence that the climatological mechanisms associated with droughts, floods and cyclones are changing. And no geologist is claiming that the earth movements associated with earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunami (earthquake waves) are becoming more violent." Also, the book Earthshock eluded to the same observation by saying: "The rocks of every continent contain a record of innumerable major and minor geological events, every one of which would be a catastrophic disaster to mankind if they occurred today—and it is scientifically certain that such events will occur again and again in the future." In other words, the earth and its dynamic forces have more or less remained the same throughout the ages.

Of course there does have to be reason for the seemly increase in these natural disasters, eh? My personal opinion is that mankind ourselves are guilty of this. Look at what Ecclesiastes has to say:

Ecclesiastes 8:9

"I observed all of this as I paid attention to all that happens under the sun. Sometimes people exercise power over each other to their detriment."


Also note what Jesus said to some of his disciples when he was teaching them about how a person's heart condition is what is important to God:


Luke 13:1-5

"(1) Some who were present on that occasion told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices. (2) He replied, 'Do you think the suffering of these Galileans proves that they were more sinful than all the other Galileans? (3) No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did. (4) What about those twelve people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think that they were more guilty of wrongdoing than everyone else who lives in Jerusalem? (5) No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did'".


Take a look at the scripture I quoted earlier in this thread:


Ecclesiastes 9:11,12

"I also observed under the sun that the race doesn't always go to the swift, nor the battle to the mighty, nor food to the wise, nor wealth to the intelligent, nor favor to the knowledgeable, because accidents can happen to anyone. People most definitely don't know when their time will come. Like fish tragically caught in a net or like birds trapped in a snare, so are human beings caught in a time of tragedy that suddenly falls to them."


Not to leave out the true cluprit of most of mankinds sufferings:

2 Corinthians 4:4

"The devil who rules this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News—the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is exactly like God."

2 Corinthians 11:14,15

"(14) This does not surprise us. Even Satan changes himself to look like an angel of light. (15) So it does not surprise us if Satan's servants also make themselves look like servants who work for what is right".

1 John 5:18,19

"(18) We know that those who are God's children do not continue to sin. The Son of God keeps them safe, and the Evil One cannot touch them. (19) We know that we belong to God, but the Evil One controls the whole world."


Notice who is in control of the whole world? Again, whats your thoughts on this, MOS?

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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2011, 12:07:51 PM »

 


Notice who is in control of the whole world? Again, whats your thoughts on this, MOS?


 

Not sure if I understand.....are you (or is that author) saying that Satan is causing the natural disasters? 

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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2011, 08:15:24 AM »

 

Not sure if I understand.....are you (or is that author) saying that Satan is causing the natural disasters? 



Well, I'm saying that the devil can cause them. The bible confirms this. Also, chance is repsonsible, or just the normal course of nature. The author is showing us that nature is basically the culprit.

My personal opinion on it, is that satan and nature are responsible.
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