We will return to our thoughts of Christmas, but due to another Typhoon hitting the Philippines, and receiving quite a few questions asking me why God allows things like this, I thought it would be wise to deal with this issue. We have been in the Philippines for 21 years and it was standard knowledge that Typhoon season was August – Mid October, and if a late one came it would be the first week of November. Last year, while we were in Ministry in the USA and Canada, on November 7, Haiyan hit. We all know the devastation! Right now we are in Toronto, Canada meeting with a potential CCF Satellite and we watched Hagupit hit the Philippines, the lateness of the season is surprising.
Again, many individuals find themselves questioning God over an issue like this, which I understand, and that leads me to offer some counsel to help. Understand though, I will approach this from one perspective without any apology. I go to one source for validation of Truth, which is the Word of God. I realize that many will say that believing the Bible is only my theory, and I will agree with you. You will, you ask? Yes, because the Truth is that every belief in the world is a theory until it is “seen”! What do I mean? Until we die, everything we believe is theory because only those that have died know what happens after life.
So if we are honest we must face the fact that if what we believe is the Truth then we will have chosen correctly. However, if we discover that what we have believed is not Truth, no matter how hard we believed it, it is false.
Even Paul was honest about this:
1 Corinthians 15:12–19 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
Paul knew that “if” what we believe is not true, that does not change the Truth! Truth is what it is! If Allah is true, nothing can change that, if Buddha is true, nothing can change that and if Christ is true…nothing can change that! So all belief systems are built on faith, including evolution. So the question that enters is the evidence that supports that belief. Many say that I have blind faith because I have not seen God; as if any evolutionist has seen the Big Bang, or the first evolved Ape-man. You see all Atheists have faith – they believe everything just happened – no intelligent “cause." All Agnostics have faith – they believe a Supreme something made things happen or created things, but cannot be known personally. I have faith – I believe in a very personal Creator that not only created and sustains everything, but One that desires to be intimate with all humans.
We all have faith – Remember faith is trusting belief. So when you cannot see or understand everything, but still believe – it is faith. Blind faith is when you have no evidence or reason to believe. The average evolutionist does not know all the facts or understand all the theories, but believes in the Theory – that is faith, based on what those that claim that their theories are the evidence that we evolved. Their dating theories are theories, and to accept them also takes faith. Biblical faith is also based on evidence. This includes the intelligent design of the universe; the stars, the earth and all creation; also, the historicity of the Scriptures; which is greater than any 10 Greek historical documents brought together. (I have in my discipleship manual 10 pages of facts about this, if interested to see let me know) The historic facts that are told in the Bible, and most importantly, the historic evidence of the Person of Christ, the eyewitness testimony of His life, death and resurrection. Our faith is not blind at all.
All of this I say to make it clear that as I approach this topic, I do so from a clear perspective of one that holds to Scripture as Truth and the explanations from the Scriptures for Who God is.
Here is what no one can do – say exactly why a specific disaster happens, only God knows that, but we can see from Scriptures reasons that disasters happen.
One clear reason is God’s Judgment. God will cause or use disasters to judge sin in order to cause people to see the danger of sin and repent. The two most obvious would be the Flood and Sodom and Gomorrah. With those two judgments the whole earth knew that God is serious about sin. But don’t go where the world goes in its thoughts about God and sin. They act like God is afraid of it or allergic to it. I have heard some describe God like some big whimp that can’t look at sin because it offends His delicate nature! How silly! God’s righteousness, holiness and light devour the presence of sin. He hates sin because of what it does to those that are vulnerable to it! God’s disdain for sin is motivated by His love for those that sin kills! God warns all throughout Scripture that sin carries a heavy cost.
Job 31:2–3 For what has God above chosen for us? What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high? Isn’t it calamity for the wicked and misfortune for those who do evil?
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Wages are not something given, they are something earned! Our life of sin earns the outcome of separation from God. So there are times God allows a disaster to awaken the people to the fragility of life and causes them to seek help from someone higher than themselves or the government. However, unless stated in Scripture, no one can say whether a particular disaster was sent directly by God to judge a situation.
I will cover one more issue, but then will have to deal with the remaining issues in the next Devo.
Not only can disasters be due to the judgment of God, they can also be the reaping of what we have sown. Again, due to agendas by political groups or special interest groups, we really do not know what effects we are having on the environment. Anyone that thinks all this industrialization and technology does nothing is not being honest. The problem is we cannot have an honest discussion about it, because many groups are agenda driven and have lied about the facts. It seems that much of science is up to the highest bidder! How sad. We even have a well-known politician that made millions selling his book and movie that have now been proven to be fabrications of the truth. All of this does not take away the Truth of Scripture:
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
This is a Scriptural principle that applies to individuals and societies. If we cut down every tree on a mountain, when the rains come we will see landslides. If we build communities in flood areas or right on the edge of a river or the ocean, when storms come we will see those communities pay the price. God is not at fault, we are. Jesus warns of this mindset:
Matthew 7:24–27 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
There are some more issues that need to be dealt with, which we will cover next time. For now though, we should ask ourselves…when disasters happen, what do we do? Blame God or seek His guidance and protection? Our response exposes our heart.