By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Saturday Morning Post #33 ~
My son lives in Houston, and so for the past week, I was closely following Harvey, this slow motion tragedy, this epic catastrophe, this 1000 year flood event. Watching what’s been taking place has been surreal, unbelievable, the continued rain resulting in massive flooding, untold heartache, uprooted lives, unspeakable and unimaginable devastation, and also death. What are we to think? What are we to do? This is a time to be like the good Samaritan and love your neighbor. This is a time for compassion and kindness, a time to serve if you are able, a time to give financially to reputable charity organizations. But most importantly, this is a time to pray and ask God to pour out His grace and mercy upon the millions who are so needy.
This is also a time to consider what God has been doing. Do you see that every drop of water from the heavens above is from the hand of God? “God says to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ So that everyone He has made may know His work, He stops all people from their work” (Job 37:6-7). Do you realize this storm is to get your attention, to get you to stop what you’re doing so you look to Him, to put the fear of God in you? Do you see that God is sounding the alarm, trying to wake you up from your sleep, to jolt you out of your slumber? God is calling on all Americans to wake up!
“The clouds change direction, turning around by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the earth. Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen… stop and consider God’s wonders” (Job 37:12-14). “The voice of the Lord is over the waters… The Lord sits enthroned over the flood. The Lord is King forever” (Psalm 29:3, 10). We get so occupied and distracted by school, work, sports, games, TV, texts and tweets, but might we hear the voice of the Lord. Listen up! God is telling us that He is God and we are but men, and that He is holy, supreme and powerful, and that He can do whatever He wants. Daniel 4:35
But what is God saying to those who don’t know Him? He wants them to know about His mercy, but it’s not just a temporal mercy by helping them through a physical problem, like a flood, but an eternal mercy by offering salvation from their sins, from their greatest spiritual problem. Yes, God wants to physically save people out of the rain and the flood and all the destruction that goes with it, but He’s more concerned about showing mercy to people by saving them from an eternal hell. 1 Timothy 2:3-6
How can a person be saved from his sins and from hell? He needs to know he’s a sinner in need of a Savior. He needs to know he has not loved God, but has loved himself and pleasure and money, or that he’s been proud, or that he has ignored and disobeyed God, or that he’s been angry, covetous or immoral. A person then needs to genuinely repent of his sins, and truly believe that Christ actually died for him, and was punished by God for all his sins. And those who repent and believe, who call out to God for mercy, will be forgiven, and be given eternal life, and become children of God. That Christ can save you from your sins, from the spiritual cancer that’s killing you, is the best and most important news in the world. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). Ephesians 2:8-9, John 5:24
What is God saying to the person who’s already a true Christian? That if he is spiritually sleeping, then by God’s grace, he needs to wake up. If he is sinning, then he needs to repent and be holy. If he is loving the world, then he needs to love God. If he is proud, then he needs to be humble. If he is worried, then he needs to see that God is sovereign. If he is disobedient, then he needs to obey God. If he is churchless, then he needs to get in a good Bible church, faithfully loving and serving the saints. Finally, he is to tell others the good news about how Christ can save them from sin, death and hell. I must say that there’s no greater joy than knowing the Lord, worshiping Him, working for Him, and waiting for His glorious return and the rapture of the church.
Let me ask again, do you see what God is doing? He ordains little trials as well as these massive storms, these (super)natural disasters. And He wants you to know Him as the One who meets both your physical and spiritual needs “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me besides quiet waters.” Psalm 23:1-2
P.S. – All kinds of calamities will continue on up to the return of Christ. Next week, I am planning on looking at the birth pains – the wars, famines, plagues and earthquakes that are and will be taking place in the end times.
P.P.S. – I have just posted a very informative and important article about the coming of Jesus Christ. (By the way, my son is safe and encouraged).