It is inevitable during a national crisis that many people will question the goodness of God.
People have asked in times past how a God of love could permit such suffering. The idea is that God, having the power to stop these tragedies before they begin, appears to do nothing prevent the resulting suffering.
There will be many who will claim that Hurricane Harvey is a judgment from God. Others will use this natural disaster as ammunition to disparage God. What is the truth and how can we reconcile the suffering of human beings with the love of God?
In order to gain a frame of reference, we must understand how man’s suffering began. God warned Adam that if he chose to disobey Him, that the results would be felt for all of human life. I am sure that if Adam could have seen all that his disobedience has caused, he might have thought differently at the beginning. We should remember that each one of us know that God has said we should not do certain things but we do them anyway. Before we Blame Adam for the suffering that has resulted, we should examine our own life and ask if we are doing all that God has commanded.
In any event, from Adam, we can see that God is not the cause of human suffering, we are the source. It was because we permit sin to exist in our lives that we all suffer. Even with Adam’s error, we cannot blame him today for the suffering that we see across the earth. Imagine what life would be like if people really loved each other and obeyed what God had said. Our world would be transformed overnight. We would all still die, but our lives would radically change if we, as individuals, would simply choose to do what is right everyday.
It is because of human selfishness that the world is in such terrible shape. Look at the events that have taken place in recent months. Rioting, destruction of property, violence, and hatred in various places across the earth. Terrorism, greed, corruption of governments and leaders, accusations hateful comments and disrespect for God and His law.
Is there any wonder that God has partially taken away His former protection of America?
Beginning in 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that Bible reading and prayer were no longer allowed in public schools. This resulted in increased violence, disrespect for others, and the eroding of moral values in the family and society in the United States. If we follow the script of God’s removal from our land, we see that our deterioration as a nation has continued to the present day. We have reached a point where God has sent us hints that we are on the wrong course. He did the very same things in Israel during the days before their nation was lost. No one but God’s prophets listened to the Lord. As a result, the enemies of Israel came and took away their nation. God permitted this because the people had forgotten God, who called them to be a nation after His righteousness.
The United States was founded under similar circumstances. We began with a desire to honor God and worship Him freely without the intervention of government. The framers built a Constitution that protected religious liberty and placed a restriction on Government to allow the free exercise of religion. Later generations twisted the Constitution and reinterpreted it to mean that religion shall not interfere in Government. This began the subsequent suppression of religious liberty and the removal of God from Government, schools, and private lives.
What we discover is that God has given us moments where tragedy overtakes our nation. Homes, business, and lives are lost. Suffering begins and people start to re evaluate their lives. They notice that their attention had been on things that should not have occupied so much of their time. They realize that they have forgotten God and not loved people as they should have. In the midst of tragedy, people are humbled and changed. The nations comes together and works to rebuild. People who were focussed on hatred, protests, and violence are reminded that we are one nation and people and we need each other. Love begins again and hatred is put aside.
God, in His infinite wisdom and love, permits us these days of suffering so that we will come to our senses and turn back to Him. Days when we will forget about ourselves and remember our neighbor. Brief moments when we no longer hate each other but feel compassion for the hurting, suffering, and those who have lost everything.