IN THE MIDST OF A STORM
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride." Psalm 46:1-3
Hurricane Harvey was the storm from hell, destined to be one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history. As of this writing, 41 people have lost their lives as a result of this hurricane. Texas will not be the same for a long, long time. I read where Harvey has dumped approximately 20 trillion gallons of water on Houston and the surrounding areas in a matter of a few days. 20 trillion! To put this massive number in perspective, 20 trillion gallons is enough water to fill all the NFL and Division 1 college football stadiums in America 100 times over!
Most of my family lives in Houston. Both my mom and my brother were flooded. My other brother and three sisters were graciously spared. My daughter, Amy, was high and dry on a third-floor apartment in the Galleria area. Many friends were decimated by the floods. My heart breaks for them.
How are we to process an epic disaster like this?
1. God is a good and loving God. This truth needs to be carved into your heart. We live in a fallen world where bad things surely happen. Jesus said, “God sends rain on the just and the unjust.” All of us must be careful not to allow our meology (what has happened to me) to taint our theology (how we understand God). If you view the character and nature of God through the lens of your tragic experiences rather than the lens of Scripture, you will end up becoming bitter, disillusioned, and deceived … wrongly perceiving that God is neither good nor loving.
2. God uses the worst of situations to produce the best of outcomes. Could anything have been worse for Jesus’ followers than to see their Lord arrested, beaten, whipped, and crucified? Was that Friday a Good Friday for them? Absolutely not! It was the worst of the worst. Their hearts and hopes were shattered in a million pieces. Yet that Friday, in the light of Resurrection Sunday, proved to be the greatest victory the world has ever known as Jesus opened heaven’s door to eternal salvation. Never forget that God specializes in giving “beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3).
3. The greatest things in life are not things. So many people have lost their homes, their cars, and their “stuff.” But real joy, peace, satisfaction, purpose, and hope are not found in stuff … they are found in the Savior. No storm can take Him away. In fact, in Matthew 14, He walks in the face of the storm to let us know He is over every problem and difficulty we will ever face in life. He promises to never leave or forsake His children, no matter how dark and devastating the storm! May Hurricane Harvey remind us to hold all material things loosely and fix our eyes on Jesus until He calls us home or comes in the clouds.
4. Disasters are a time for God’s people to shine for Christ. No doubt, dark storms are traumatic. Many people are devastated, depressed, and bewildered. They do not know what to do, where to go, and how to make it. In these times, God’s people can make such a difference. We are the light of the world because the Holy Spirit of God resides in us. The Lord wants to use us to bring hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless … to bring Jesus to those who desperately need to see that He is able.
May you and I pray, give, and go to those who have been decimated by Hurricane Harvey. May we see Jesus take the worst of situations and work it together for good by the power of His cross.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Direct questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Fear No Evil
Fear. It is a common enemy all of us encounter on a regular basis. Fear keeps multitudes of people from walking by faith and doing the will of God. Fear must be understood so it can be overcome. In this three-message series, Pastor Jeff Schreve shares powerful insights to help you rise above your fears and believe God for victory.