God Makes No Mistakes
As we enter into the final months of 2016 we look sadly, at the many people who have recently suffered great loss, and devastation as a result of Hurricane Matthew. Death and destruction has occurred all along the Atlantic coast from Florida, up to and including our own state, North Carolina. We have been told our own Lumberton was hit harder than any other area. I believe our community will agree with that assessment. But hurricane Matthew, and it’s devastation has left many people wondering why God would allow such a thing like this to happen. My friends, I cannot fully answer this question for you but I do know this, God makes no mistakes.
Normally, for our last newsletter of the year Country Preacher Ministries likes to focus on JESUS. We want to encourage our readers to end the year being thankful for the blessing of salvation, and a future in eternity that only Jesus can provide for us. But with the after effects of Matthew we think it is fitting to address some of the things people are saying about how they feel after enduring such loss and hardships, and try to address some of the questions many have.
The Storm - The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Nahum 1:3
Man is often puzzled, as to why so many bad things happen to him. Unfortunately more people than not blame God every time anything bad happens in the world. The actual truth of the matter is there never would have been a single storm, any hurricane, sickness, or even death if man had not brought sin into the world. But because man, Adam, disobeyed God his Creator, there was a curse placed on creation, and it still affects us all today.
God had warned Adam of this curse as a consequence of disobeying Him;
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:17-19
Yes, this plainly shows how much trouble man can bring upon himself when he disobeys God. Man in his ignorance did not know, and many still do not realize the awfulness of their sin, and it’s potential for long term consequences.
From practically the very beginning of time the desperate need of mankind has been evident because man’s heart is bent on sin. This caused a loving, good God to send his only Son into this sin, sick world to save us from our sins.
The Curse: Meant for Good - Hebrews 4:7b .... To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
The heart of man is so effected by sin God knew what was needed to cause man to call upon the Lord. Although, sometimes even tragedy will not get people to repent and turn to the Lord. Some people just won’t repent no matter what!
As trouble and trials overwhelm people they should look to ONE who is greater than themselves for help. God is always ready to forgive people of their sin if they will humble themselves and call upon Him. How many people from Florida to North Carolina has the storm effected yet how many have called upon God? I don’t have an answer to this either, but I do know you won’t see many even thanking the Lord for bringing them through it. They credit themselves for getting out alive, or with things intact. Folks, our God is a sovereign God. This means he is always fully in control of all things, at all times. If you made it out of this hurricane, or have made it out alright in any other situation it was a sovereign God, not you! He gives us our strength, our wits about us, and every breath we have to live each day, and we all need to thank Him for this.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3
Troubles are designed by God to get man’s attention to seek Him. Trouble and hardships show us how little and helpless we are. Sometimes God because He is holy, and He loves people, has to judge His people severely. Before he judges us he always warns us first. His love for us, and his compassion for our helpless state is what brings us such mercy and patience from him.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Have the hardships of life caused you to call upon the Lord? Do you feel a need for God in your life? God has provided salvation for all mankind. Although man has sinned God’s love for man has not changed. This is why a loving, and good Jesus came and died upon the cross for our sins.
Two Evils - There are two evils in the world; moral evil, and natural evil. Moral evil is the immorality, pain, suffering and tragedy that come because we choose to be selfish, arrogant, uncaring, hateful and abusive.
Romans 3:23 says; “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
So much of the world’s suffering results from the sinful action, or inaction of ourselves, and others. Take this example; Look at your hand - You can choose to use your hand to hold a gun and shoot someone, or you can use it to feed hungry people. It’s your choice. But it’s unfair to shoot someone, and then blame God for the existence of evil and suffering. Like the old cartoon said: “We have seen the enemy, and he is us.”
Natural evil is the second kind of evil. Natural evils are things like wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes that cause suffering for people. But these, too, are the indirect result of sin being allowed into the world.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Romans 8:22
Someone once said: “When we humans told God to shove off, He partially honored our request. Nature began to revolt. The earth was cursed. Genetic breakdown and disease began. Pain and death became part of the human experience.” Yes, once our world began to go against God’s will, or to even walk away from God we have been on a downward spiral.
Look at all the tragedy we see almost weekly in our schools. Some believe when laws were enacted to take God out of the school system nothing but problems have occurred ever since. I agree. This partially started back in 1962 when one woman was able to get prayer removed from the public school systems. Folks, we need to turn toward our Creator not away from him if we ever want to see a day when He could start blessing our country again. Until we do I’m afraid we may be in store for a lot more storms.
With all that said I do want to make this clear - God did not create evil and suffering. Now, it’s true that he did create the potential for evil to enter the world, because that was the only way to create the potential for genuine goodness and love. But it was human beings, acting in our own free will, who brought that potential evil into reality. God didn’t make us like a robot, he gave each of us our own free will, so how we live, and the choices we make are strictly ours!
In the end, it’s God’s love for all people, and salvation’s plan that allows us to live our lives not being controlled by sin. The strength of God’s love, and grace can help all of us make it through any storm.
Heavenly Father we praise you for the greatest of all gifts the very Son of God. How blessed mankind is to have such a loving God providing for our salvation. May many hearts trust you at this season of the year, and always. Amen, Preacher