My whole body is sick because of your judgment; I am deprived of health because of my sin.
Psalms 38:3 NET
This will be a little different than other devotionals…
As I sit at home, water receding from my front yard, without power, but thankful that water did not make it into our home and vehicles, I’m reflecting on one of the biggest natural disasters to hit the United States.
There is loss of life and billions of dollars in damages. Houston will be recovering from the winds and rain of Hurricane Harvey for years! Officials still have no clue how widespread the damage will be. And it isn’t over yet!
Maybe it’s my attention on the End Times and feelings that the Lord’s coming is soon that gets me to say this, but I wonder… Is Hurricane Harvey judgement from God?
Many will stop reading at that line above. But if you’re still with me, know that I don’t say that lightly or to be sensational.
Why is He judging us?
No matter what you believe or what you’ve learned, this nation was built on Judeo-Christian principles. There was a morality that undergirded this nation for hundreds of years.
But slowly at first, and now very quickly, we have moved away from those principles. People will say that this thinking is old fashioned and that people who believe like this are religious zealots. Believe what you will. God doesn’t change.
Couple this with how “true” Christians are mocked, ridiculed and even persecuted in this country, it’s easy for those paying attention to see.
Why would God do this?
To get our attention! To get us to turn back to Him! And, you need to understand that this isn’t something new!
The Old Testament is filled with stories of God getting Israel’s attention/judging them because they turned from Him.
In my reading today as well, Jeremiah 2. Read it! It is so good! God sends Jeremiah to get the attention of Judah.
God’s judgement is not punishment. It is pressure to turn to Him, to reflect on where our hearts and minds are, to put Him in His rightful place as our God.
Why do believers suffer?
We live in the midst of this society. We are supposed to be salt and light in the midst of all of this! Even during judgement. Remember, there were good, God-fearing Jews in Israel during the Babylonian exile that were killed or taken into captivity.
The point here is that this life isn’t the end of the line for true believers. This world is temporary. And as we live here, regardless of the circumstances, we should (btw – also in my daily reading today)…
My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. James 1:2-4 NET
I will not sugarcoat this…it is hard to remain joyful in trials. I will be the first to admit that. But after having times of reflection, the gratitude sets in.
Judgement? Are you serious?
This line of thinking isn’t popular. People don’t like to think or be told they are doing something wrong, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. But spiritual matters are important to God! Our relationship to Him is important to Him. He does not play second fiddle!!!
The answer is very simple actually, get right with God and stay there. Live a life that is pleasing to Him.
This doesn’t guarantee that you will live a problem free life now. In fact, Jesus said that His disciples would encounter persecution.
But it does guarantee a future with Jesus in Heaven for all eternity.
Know this… because people won’t change and messages of repentance and turning to God usually go on deaf ears, that things will get worse!
I’m not wishing this to happen. I’m just as patriotic or even more than most. I don’t want to see this nation hurt! But, I’m looking at Scripture and the pattern that God has used to get people’s attention. It’s all right there in the Bible.
If you feel at all like you identify with what I’ve written, then take time to get right with God!
- Repent and get right with God
- Pray and seek Him
- Read your Bible, learn more about Him
- Choose to live a holy life
- Go to church
Its not as simple as a formula. But, you should be purposefully putting more of the things of God in you and removing the junk the world has to offer.
Lord, forgive us for our selfish desires. Help us to seek Your face and to live a life that is pleasing to You. Give us grace and strength to shine our lights for You in this generation. Guide us by the Holy Spirit.