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Disasters or blessings — our perspective

When natural or personal disasters come with loss of life and/or property, how can any good come from them? Trying to understand why may bring bitterness, whereas trusting it to the Lord can bring something good.

In Exodus 14:13, Israel is hemmed in by Pharaoh’s army. There are mountains on both sides and the Red Sea to their back. The Lord’s answer to this crisis is “…stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” Through nature God reveals Himself to Israel and they experience His grace.

One good thing to come out of a natural or personal disaster is the potential for the spiritual growth of God’s people. They now have an opportunity for the Lord to perform good works through them in order to glorify our Heavenly Father. The sacrifice of our earthly possessions and our time enables Christians to develop and mature. We can exercise our spiritual gifts as we love the Lord by serving our fellow man. When we fail to give, we are like a pond with no outlet. In other words we become stagnant. As we serve others, we are like a river allowing the Lord to work through us making our blessings fresh and abundant.

Tragedies from life’s disasters can reveal to non-Christians their frailties and uncertainties of this life. The power of the wind, water, fire or disease shows our weakness and can reveal God’s mercy and grace. Those who are living for this world only will see how quickly they are able to lose their earthly treasures. These insecurities of life may bring some to the realization that they need a savior.

Sadly, some will harden their hearts and blame God for their situation. Their bitterness will be an excuse for disobedience and rejection of the Savior. To them, God causes it, and He can prevent or stop it. Christians recognize more than ever the need of God’s power through prayer to break these hardened hearts. Prayer becomes our only resource to reach people’s unbelieving hearts when they do not listen to our words or see our deeds.

The tragedies of life can draw us closer to the Lord. Hardships can break us, however, He can rebuild us to be even better. The needs in our lives can humble us so we may depend on Him more. Trusting Him even when we do not understand Him allows us to grow spiritually.

The same sun that melts wax can also harden clay. Unexplained tragedies can either cause us to walk away from our Heavenly Father in disbelief or run into His open arms for the comfort we crave.

Do we view the hardships of life by looking around at our losses or are we looking up to see our gains?

Steve Conwell, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church is heard mornings on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” His email address is SteveConwell@outlook.com.