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Monday, November 25, 2013

Why Trusting God Is Important

On Sunday, November 17, an EF-4 tornado tore through our town of Washington (I understand that I live in Eureka, but as my school and kids are in Washington, I have always considered Washington my community).  While “only” one person lost their life and dozens injured (though no major injuries that I’ve heard), hundreds lost their home and thousands were terrorized by the events.  Pictures and the news cannot accurately capture the carnage this storm left behind.  Millions of dollars will be spent on cleanup and rebuilding.

The common question that arises from this level of wreckage is Why?  Why did this happen?

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the most misinterpreted verses of the Bible.  It says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord.  ‘They are for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”  Many incorrectly read this as God telling Christians that nothing bad will ever happen to them.

Wow, is that wrong.

As long as sin remains in this world, bad things are going to happen.  What we need to understand, however, is that God is not the cause of those bad things.  Satan is the root of all evil.  What the Lord is telling us in Jeremiah is that bad things were never part of the plan.  His plan was all good.  Since evil found its way into the plans, however, God uses it for good…and that good is Him.  Get this: God uses all things to drive people to Him.

Joshua Walker: Sometimes, your circumstances are the only way others are going to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.  Sometimes, that trial is meant to get through to your heart.  Sometimes, that trial has nothing to do with you—it has to do with that person that God wants to save.

Basically, when bad things happen, God will use it to bring people closer to Him.  The trial may be meant to bring you closer to Him, or it may be meant to bring those around you closer to Him.  Ultimately, it’s all about Jesus, and we just have to learn to trust Him.

I know that’s always easier said than done, but here’s why it’s so important: Our vision is limited.  Think of a really foggy day.  The kind of fog where you can barely see the house a block down the road.  That is how we see life.  We don’t know what the next minute will bring, let alone the next day, week, month, or year.  Last Sunday proved that.  Meanwhile, God has infinite vision.  He sees the entire future for the rest of time, so He knows exactly how it all plays out.  Now…take our vision and God’s…who do we want driving the car down that road?  No offense, but I don’t want to be in a car if you and your limited vision is driving—and you shouldn’t want to be in the car if I’m driving.  We need to hand the keys to God and allow Him to take us to the destination we can’t see.

Believe it or not, the next post in the Jesus Is… series was going to be Jesus Is the Healer regardless of the current events.  Here’s a quick preview in relation to this post: We are so quick to trust a doctor when he gives us some magic pill that we’ve never heard of.  The doctor says it’ll help, so we take the pill.  No questions asked.  While I believe in doctors and medicine, let’s be honest—doctors screw up frequently, yet we blindly trust them.  God never makes a mistake, yet we constantly question Him.  Doubt Him.  We have our trust all kinds of backwards here.

Todd Nighswonger: (We’re) not saying that there’s joy in the trial.  It’s in knowing that God always wins, so the outcome of your trial will be phenomenal.

Here’s why it’s so important to show your trust in what God is doing when tragedy strikes: How you respond in times of crisis shows your true faith.  It’s easy to be a Christian when times are good.  When life is going well, no one thinks twice about you praising God or your church or your youth group.  When life hits you with massive storms, however, how you react is how non-believers will see Jesus.  What do you want them to see?  How do you want them to view Christ?  Furthermore, when other Christians—silent Christians—see you react to tragedy with a strong trust in Jesus, they will be inspired to do the same, which just presents a more unified front against Satan and his attacks.

Don’t believe me?  Look at the community.  “Washington Strong”, right?  For the last week, the news has continually shown that slogan.  They’ve kept showing the community banding together.  Working together.  Healing together.  “Washington Strong” has become the battle cry of the area, the state, the nation.  The community’s amazing response to this tragedy has inspired people—Christians and non-believers alike—from Maine to California to overseas.  People in other countries are asking how they can help.  The inspiration we have stirred in people has led to such an abundance of donations that we’ve run out of room for them!!  When have you ever heard of a natural disaster hitting an area of the world, and within a week, that community is asking people to stop donating because they don’t have anywhere to put it all?

How you respond in times of tragedy will inspire the world around you.  So inspire.  Trust God.  Display your faith.  Show Jesus.

Be strong.

Washington Strong and Strong in Christ.

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