Sunday, September 3, 2017

Devotion 9.4.17

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, so much remains to be learned about the historic catastrophe this will definitely become.  Yet already, as the storm was happening, there were people affixing blame.  From the vein of politics and a set of political beliefs (not going to say right or left), we hear that this flood could have been minimized had the wide-open, non-zoning philosophy of Houston minimized development which leads to what would have been field-drainage now becoming run-off. So, the floods that reached the second- and third-story of some buildings might not have reached so high were Houston not an asphalt jungle.

Of course, there is the age-old question as to God and His allowing such catastrophic events to happen, and people are too happy to speak on God's behalf.

To the first blame-affixer we say this, when rainfall comes in feet (to put it in perspective, Houston received as much rain in a few days as Lubbock averages in three-plus years), flooding is going to occur asphalt or not.  To the second who asks about God and why this event happened, we ask, "Do you understand Romans 11:34?" "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"  It is in our nature to want answers, and the truth is we may never know why these things happen.  I don't know what's on God's mind and I cannot, and should not, try to speak for Him.

These next few devotions will contain verses that have been particularly meaningful to me as I endure the journey called life, and when it comes to Harvey, were I still in Houston, Romans 5:1 - 5 would be painted on a wall in my house as we rebuild.  "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

If I'm down, I don't need someone standing over me wagging a finger.  I'm already there, and if I'm not, someone standing over me wagging their finger is not likely to get me to that frame of mind that says, "Man I really needed that!"  However, someone speaking the truth in love, telling me I cannot speak for God, yet I know that these events have shaped me and can shape us and help us to grow may soften my resistance to the message of the gospel.

Romans 5 reminds us that life is a journey and that suffering is a part of that journey.  It reminds us to be prayerful in finding God's meaning and purpose in our lives through that suffering to progress through suffering, endurance, character, and hope in the resurrection of Christ Jesus.

We pray for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and all victims of tragedies that impact only one person or millions.

Hope Men's Ministry

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