What do you do when life threatens to crush your very soul? All along the Texas Gulf Coast, people are dealing with the some of the most heart-wrenching pain imaginable….losing everything, unable to even go to work, losing loved ones in the hurricane and flooding. And Florida may be in for the same kind of heartache.
When devastation hits you it’s sometimes easy to turn from God – and that’s precisely the wrong place to be. I have no magic words or simple answers for what folks are going through, but these four things might be of help – be sure and read to number four:
#1. Remember God is good.
He created everything, and He created it good. Why? Because He is good.
Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, and that corrupted EVERYTHING. Even creation.
Right there in Romans 8, God says all of creation groans to be set free from the corruption.
Jesus gave Himself to make us good again. Because He is good.
Think sin is no big deal? Get a grip on this:
IF there were no sin in the world, there would NEVER be a hurricane, a flood, or death. All is a result of sin corrupting God’s good and excellent creation.
Every time you see a horrific death, a terrifying flood, or a powerful hurricane, stop and think, “God is good, and sin is horrible.”
#2. Remember God is near.
Phil 4:5 says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” That was the whole point of my last post here.
God is near, and He knows WHAT is around the corner, but even more than that – HE is around the corner, around the bend, up there in the future in that land we call “uncertainty.“ And He is always able to take care of business.
Where you are right now,
God was here yesterday.
Where you will be tomorrow,
God will be there. He is good, and He is near.
But I get it.
Some days you get up and think, “I don’t have the emotional, physical or spiritual strength to make it through today!” And I’m sure there are folks all along the Gulf Coast and in Florida right now who feel that way. So you have to understand…
#3. God will provide as you go.
Most often God does not provide before we go, but as we go.
The Red Sea is a perfect example: the sea didn’t part until they got there. I’m sure they felt great stress with the Egyptian army bearing down on them. “What will we do? We are going to die!” No – when they got to the Red Sea, God used Moses to part it, and they walked across on dry ground.
Same thing happens Luke 17. Ten lepers cry out to Jesus for healing. Jesus tells them to go show themselves to the priests who served as the health inspector and could declare them healed.
But they weren’t healed at all. They STILL had leprosy!
Why go the priest? They’ll just be told, “You’re going to die!”
But they went. And the Scripture says as they went, not before, and not until, but AS they went, they were healed.
In the same way, God who is good and near will provide for you in
and disastrous days –
as you go.
HE will provide the emotional, physical or spiritual strength to make it through today, the help you need…along the way.
But I understand…
it’s still hard to believe this information when your heart is breaking and your soul is crushed, and you really are in a bottomless pit. And so do this…
#4. Preach it.
But I’m not a preacher!
Sure you are. Everyone preaches. The question is, what is your sermon? God preached a sermon in the garden, and so did Satan.
You preach to yourself all the time. But what is your message?
David preached to his own soul: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 43:5 (ESV)
I heard Steffany Gretzinger say, “Sometimes we sing something because we believe it because we’re sure. And sometimes we sing UNTIL we’re sure.”
Sometimes we sing until we’re sure.
That may be a word from the Lord for you today.
Maybe the devastation is strong in your life, and you want to believe that God is good and God is near, and God is powerful, and He is going to provide for all the uncertainty in your life right now – you WANT to believe that…
…but it’s not your experience right now.
Preach it to yourself! Cry out, “My soul – why are you cast down. Hope in God – ever will I praise Him! Ever will He be good to me! Ever will He be my salvation. God, You are my rock and my salvation and my strong tower in the storm!”
Maybe you’ve been singing the wrong song, preaching the wrong sermon, thinking the wrong thoughts…change your tune!
Sing it and speak it and preach it and keep on until…you believe it.
And then keep on declaring His goodness and nearness and provision to yourself over and over and over again and don’t quit doing it. Ever.
And the day will come when He will wipe every tear from your eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. Forever.
Amen amen amen amen.
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