“Harvey & Irma: Where Was God?” + LINKUP

 

Harvey & Irma: Where Was God? - Two weeks ago all eyes were riveted on the Texas coast and Hurricane Harvey. We watched as days of wind and rain pummeled the Gulf Coast, moving along Texas, camping out in Houston, and continuing into Louisiana. Now, while Texas and Louisiana begin to clean up and figure out how to rebuild, Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida. She has already caused death and destruction in the Caribbean. And while we hovered between two catastrophic storms, there was an earthquake in Mexico that has left dozens dead. The question many ask is, "Where was God?"Two weeks ago all eyes were riveted on the Texas coast and Hurricane Harvey. We watched as days of wind and rain pummeled the Gulf Coast, moving along Texas, camping out in Houston, and continuing into Louisiana.

Now, while Texas and Louisiana begin to clean up and figure out how to rebuild, Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida. She has already caused death and destruction in the Caribbean. And while we hovered between two catastrophic storms, there was an earthquake in Mexico that has left dozens dead.

The question many ask is, “Where was God?”

 

Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival.

 

Harvey & Irma: Where Was God?

 

As I write this, Irma hasn’t yet hit the U.S. mainland in full force, but weather forecasters are using words like: deadly, catastrophic, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, 15-foot storm surges, fierce, life threatening.

I have family in the Houston area and dear friends in Florida. I’ve prayed and so have thousands of others.  So it’s a legitimate question, “Where was God?” Where is He now, as millions prepare for the worst? And where was He in your calamity?

 

My husband addressed those questions this past Sunday in a sermon before his sermon. I want to encourage you to listen to what he had to say. It’s followed by his regular sermon from Jonah 4, “What You Need to Know that Jonah Missed?”

 

husband MikeWhere Is God in Calamity?

 

Blessings & prayers for all those in harm’s way,
Donna

 

Harvey & Irma: Where Was God? - Two weeks ago all eyes were riveted on the Texas coast and Hurricane Harvey. We watched as days of wind and rain pummeled the Gulf Coast, moving along Texas, camping out in Houston, and continuing into Louisiana. Now, while Texas and Louisiana begin to clean up and figure out how to rebuild, Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida. She has already caused death and destruction in the Caribbean. And while we hovered between two catastrophic storms, there was an earthquake in Mexico that has left dozens dead. The question many ask is, "Where was God?"


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Featured Resources:

 

Trusting God

Why is it easier to obey God than to trust Him?
Because obeying God makes sense to us. In most cases, His laws appear reasonable and wise, and even when we don’t want to obey them, we usually concede that they are good for us. But the circumstances we find ourselves in often defy explanation. Before long, we begin to doubt God’s concern for us or His control over our lives. We ask, “Why is God allowing this?” or “What have I done wrong?”

During such a time of adversity, Jerry Bridges began a thorough Bible study on the topic of God’s sovereignty. What he learned changed his life, and in Trusting God he shares the fruit of that study. As you explore the scope of God’s power over nations, nature, and even the details of your life, you’ll find yourself trusting Him more completely—even when life hurts.

When Life Is Hard

When life is hard, really hard, we often spend all our time pleading, begging, yelling, refusing, and questioning. While none of these things are necessarily unusual, they are missing the ultimate point. When life is hard, when things get ugly, when all hope seems to be lost… that is when we are able to display the superiority of the life lived in God.

It is in those moments of despair, when we question what is happening, when we don’t know what to do, when some trials never seem to end, that we can lean most heavily on God’s promises and truths.

Working his way through five questions we’ve all had run through our heads, trusted pastor James MacDonald helps us understand what we should do now. We begin the journey by looking at different types of “trials”, figuring out exactly what we’re dealing with, and recognizing that God certainly knows. Second, the obvious question: “Why?” God sees us going through trials and we long for two things: for them to be over and to know why they happened in the first place. Next, we need to know what to do with these trials when they come (and they will most certainly come). Fourth, we have all wondered it, can trials be refused? Are God’s purposes really being fulfilled in the midst of this trying time? And lastly, God reveals Himself to us through these trials. . . and sometimes, they just don’t ever end. Why doesn’t this trial go away?

God told us to expect trials—don’t be surprised when they come. Grow when they come. Find hope when they come.

It’s Not Fair!: Finding Hope When Times Are Tough

When people complain about their lot in life, thinking God is not treating them as he should, they need to read It’s Not Fair! This book comes alongside people right where they are and moves them to a place where they can finally rest in God’s attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, love, and justice through the use of sound biblical encouragement.



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“3 Reasons the World Hates Us” September 10

 

3 Reasons the World Hates Us - Christians, throughout the centuries, have been persecuted, rejected and martyred for their faith. What are some of the reasons why the world hates us? Paul Nyquist in his book Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture lists 3 reasons.Christians, throughout the centuries, have been persecuted, rejected and martyred for their faith. What are some of the reasons why the world hates us? Paul Nyquist in his book Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture lists 3 reasons.

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 11 & 12
Psalm 106.6-18
Proverbs 25.3-5
2 Corinthians 2.1-17

 

3 Reasons the World Hates Us

 

2 Corinthians 2.1-17:

Why the World Hates Us

 

Verses 14-16a:

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.

As Christians, we represent Christ to a dying world. For those who respond to the Gospel in saving faith leading to a changed life, we are “the aroma of life leading to [eternal] life” (emphasis added).To those who reject Christ we are the “aroma of death” because instead of responding to the truth and light we offer with repentance, they respond in rejection and anger.

This should help us understand why even those we care about can become so hostile when we commit our lives to Christ and begin to share what He’s doing in our lives.

Christians, throughout the centuries, have been persecuted, rejected and martyred for their faith. As Americans we have been somewhat insulated from that truth, but as I discussed yesterday the culture we live in is changing rapidly. More and more believers are experiencing job losses, harassment, persecution and even arrest for standing on biblical principles.

Paul Nyquist in his book Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture says:

One of the more difficult truths for us to grasp is that the world hates us. The world doesn’t tolerate us— even though toleration is a supposed value of our society. It doesn’t like us. No, it hates us. Jesus makes this plain in John 15:18– 27.

He goes on to say:

As relational creatures, that truth can gnaw at us. We crave acceptance. We long to be loved. We desire to be esteemed, valued, and respected. We can yearn for those things from the world. But Jesus says that acceptance will never happen. The world doesn’t love us. The world doesn’t even like us. The world hates us.

Jesus lists three reasons the world hates us in John 15. Nyquist explains them this way:  Continue reading