Hurricane Harvey (Part 3)

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42: 1-6 ESV). The third principle for facing the storms of life is a bit more difficult for us to both understand and accept. It is based in an affirmation of God’s sovereignty. What we believe about God’s sovereignty plays a significant role in how we face suffering. Do we believe that he is in absolute control over everything that happens? Do we trust that he will use all things, even our suffering, for our good and his glory? How can we trust in and find hope in his sovereignty? Our reading today is from the life of Job. I need not recount for you the suffering of this righteous man. I am quite sure none of us would want to trade places with him! Yet he comes to this wonderful understanding of who God is and what he is doing in his life. It gives him the strength to go forward to the ultimate blessing and deliverance of God. I really have been proud of the efforts from so many people and groups in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. This picture is also from Dickinson, Texas. It is a reminder that there is often an element of surprise to the plan of God. I’m quite sure these folks were not expecting a rescue from their plight by either the fishing boat in the foreground or the air boat in the background! I am also sure they were very grateful to be rescued! God’s deliverance is often surprising. Some of the time we may be tempted to believe it is late or not even coming. In the midst of life’s storm it is very difficult to patiently wait for the answer of God. That is a part of the fabric of our nature. However, if we are to overcome the great storms of life we must develop an unwavering belief in the power and provenance of God. It is not a matter of God allowing these storms to come so that somehow he might help us; it is God knowing and overseeing every storm and then intentionally working it to our good. His children do not suffer needlessly. There is purpose and good working through it all. Understanding and believing that good purpose gives us a strength that produces a “peace beyond understanding” (cf. Philippians 4:7). However, dark and foreboding your future looks, God is working. He will bring good into your...

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