No where in the scripture has God ever assured anyone, baptized or not, of a carefree, no conflict existence. Televangelists might have sold that sack of crack to preening narcissistic apostates, but Christ never marketed that kind of deceptive dope. Ever since Adam and Eve derailed in the garden we have had to pay retail to live on this planet, and we will continue to do so until the credits run on this fallen-earth flick.
In Jesus’ first tape series, aka, The Sermon on the Mount, He told his listeners to expect storms, disasters, and yes, at times, even to have their lives battered internally or externally or both. It sucks to hear such news, but that’s the naked truth for individuals, churches and nations alike. It doesn’t mean God doesn’t like us; it’s just the way it’s been ever since our primal parents were sent east of Eden.
No, God didn’t promise anyone or any country unceasing bliss, but He was kind enough to forewarn His followers that at times things would get bad, really bad. Then He instructed them to be smart, build well, act right and to believe always; and He promised if they did, they’d ride the storm out. He told us and showed us how to construct our lives in such a way that when we start going through hell, we’d be certain to keep going.
Given the dicey environment in which we’re currently embroiled, i.e. Katrina and Rita, what sort of men and women should we be as believers when our lives and nation get tossed by the storms (both literally and figuratively)?
Here’s what I’ve gleaned from the scripture regarding how we should respond:
1. Don’t curse God when things go south. Keep up your worship, confession and obedience when the stuff is hitting the fan. We’ve got to learn to be faithful storm travelers who’ll be just as on fire for Him during and after our storms as we are when the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and we just got a raise.
Perusing the book of Job will add grist to our meal to help us in times of adversity. Through all of the inconceivable junk Job went through, such as losing his family, home, health and livelihood, he did not become a whining atheist. And what did God do for this man who did not cave when catastrophe struck? He made certain that the last part of his life blew away the first part.