Why is there so much unrest, sickness and sadness in this world of ours?
As one looks over the above list, we come to realise some of these have affected our lives at some point and they are continuing to happen more frequently, down to the present.
The plethora of disasters and diseases bring uncertainty for many and we have to wonder:
What is going on?
What does our future hold?
Is there even a future to look forward to?
This latest pandemic has brought fear and panic to the hearts of many people around the globe!
COVID-19 has brought planet earth almost to a standstill. ‘Life as usual’ may well take on a new meaning for many of us.
Where do we go from here? What's next?
In order to answer these questions, we will have to refer you to the Bible. The Bible is a road map to the past and future.
Some say that God is to blame for all of the suffering in the world. But hang on, can’t we recall the most well known verse in the Bible? John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son (Jesus), that whosoever believe in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” How does that line up with God being the instigator of all these tragedies? Perhaps there may be another player in this world of controversy.
Let’s have a look at another comment that Jesus made in John 10:10. “The thief (Satan) comes to steal, and to kill and to destroy: I (Jesus) am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
So yes, there definitely is another player in all this. The Bible identifies this other power as Satan, the enemy of God and man.
This verse tells us that Satan is here to steal people from God’s abundant love; to kill and destroy them.
May this help us to realise that God is more upset about all the tragedies in the world than we are. God wants His people - and that includes every one of us on this planet - to come to Him for good, for life, for genuine love. He is concerned for your well-being, while Satan is only interested in our destruction, even to our death and to keep God’s hand of love hidden from view. He will go to any length, from using a simple personal temptation, right up to national disasters.
Satan’s hatred for mankind results in what Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:7 “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes.”
Yes, wars among nations and food imbalances: with some in famine while others with abundance.
In regards to pestilence, the world has just experienced and is still experiencing the effects of the virus COVID-19. With earthquakes, New Zealand is well aware of these and so the list goes on. In these recent years, we have to admit we are experiencing more and more of these events with greater intensity in our world.
So what do these evil tragedies instigated by Satan tell us?
There are three chapters in the Bible that tell us that when these things come upon the world and intensify, it will signal that earth is near its end. Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 are these chapters. They describe in particular the conditions of what we are seeing happen, as well as an end result. Matthew is most probably the best known and comprehensive of these and he gives the definite outcome of it all. These are signs of Jesus’ soon return to take His people to heaven. We read in Matthew 24:44, ‘Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man (Jesus) cometh.’
How do we get ready for that glorious event?
Jesus wants more than good people, He wants holy people. That may sound like a high calling, but it is not as complicated as it sounds.
In fact Jesus tells you personally, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13).
The uncertain future can look bright with hope when we are on the Lord’s side. “The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.” — Deuteronomy 28:9
“That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.” — Numbers 15:40
Yes you have just read three of God’s promises.
They inspire us to be His holy people and part of His great family.
Coming back to the current tragedies, Satan is behind all these, yet God has allowed them to happen. Why?
1) To tell us where we are in earth’s history.
2) To awaken us so that we may turn to Him for answers, for love, for compassion, for help.
3) God has given us free will - to choose good or evil. Many of us are choosing to walk away from God’s commandments and these choices have consequences. God has to leave us to our choices, He cannot force us.
Sin is the breaking of God's commandments.
(1 John 3:4) Sin is a world-wide pandemic that knows no boundaries.
God asks us to keep His ten commandments (John 14:15) for they are His holy law, and they represent His holy character - who He is: love. They are the foundation for the best life. When we obey God’s holy commandments, then we become God’s holy people. As the saying goes, we need to be saints on earth before we can be saints in heaven. Does it sound too hard just to keep ten commandments of love? Read them in Exodus 20:3-17. You may be surprised by how many you already follow! When we have faith, we can ask God in prayer to help us to keep His law - and He will help us. He has promised He will come to us and He will never leave or forsake us. He will never leave us without comfort, or cast us out. (Hebrews 13:5; John 14:18; John 6:37)
When you are faced with the sorrow that results from sin, having faith in God makes all the difference. He is willing to unite with you in your suffering and to forgive your sins. He says, “Come unto Me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
That’s good news. It means that there is hope in even the darkest day.
Jesus will not necessarily stop tragedies, but He will support us through them.
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