1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Hurricane Florence has been the dominant news story for days. Seeing the rain and flooding brought memories of May 2010 when we lived in Tennessee. Yesterday and today I am posting devotionals that I wrote at that time.
Yesterday I wrote about the immense amount of rain that fell on Central Tennessee over the weekend. The flooding in so many areas is beyond severe – it’s devastating. Homes, cars, livestock, belongings and lives have been lost. Many didn’t have flood insurance. It will take months for the region to recover.
For those Christians who have been seriously impacted by the flooding, their faith is going to be challenged as they come to grips with their situation. Are they going to see God as a villain for allowing this? Are they going to retreat in their faith because they just cannot reconcile such events with their understanding of God? Or are they going to be thankful to Him because He is with them in this trying time?
How might a Christian respond when he faces a total loss and his unrighteous neighbor somehow comes through this event unscathed?– particularly if that neighbor throws this fact in His face, “Your Christian faith sure didn’t do you any good in this storm!”
Hopefully, in the midst of all of this, they will find strength and resilience in their faith. Hopefully, they will find themselves living out the admonition in Job, where he did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. They are not at the mercy of anyone but God.
The Lord desires that our faith in Him to have such richness and depth, that in times like these, we have hearts of gratitude no matter what happens. Giving thanks to our Lord is to be like breathing – it just comes naturally. In the midst of loss or grief or pain, we can experience His peace and presence that produce a settledness within us that can only be explained as coming from Him.
In the midst of loss there is opportunity to glorify Him. His will is for us to give thanks. No matter what, we have Him.