As we approach the end of 2022 with a new year on the horizon, I chose this Nugget to reflect on how God protected us and expressed His love for us despite a rocky year.
Since 2022 has not yet closed, the following is offered as a summary of climate/weather disaster events in the United States: wildfire, severe drought and heat wave, hurricanes/tornados severe storms, and flooding resulting in loss of life and property. The economic impact of each event whirled in the billions. Then there was the loss of human life including mass murders and the killing of children at the hands of others. This cost is priceless.
To many, there is the lingering question in all of this: Where was God?
Some may even believe God has forgotten them. Rest assured--God will never forget us. We are “graven on the palm of his hands.” (Isaiah 49:15)
So where is God anyway? To begin, He loves us without conditions or fine print as in a contract. How could there be a hidden agenda when He Himself is love expressed through His nature and personality? (I John 4:8) Even when we steam roll Him like a tractor sifting dirt, He promised to never leave us or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5) He declares: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
The very nature of a catastrophe contains the elements of death and fear. Neither of these adds worth or value. They smell and will haunt you like a screaming nightmare. In love there is no fear; fear has to do with punishment. Many misrepresent God as a fearful and angry entity who needs to be satisfied to calm His anger. Contrary to that vision, God is abundant in mercy and never intended for us to live in fear. (2 Timothy 1:7) Create an alternate vision and see Him as a parent.
Because of our lopsided natures, He lovingly disciplines us into greater growth and strength using object lessons through uncanny and miserable circumstances, but He does not leap for joy at these dark events, trials, or tragic situations. His Divine love and presence never falter, and if we trust in Him, we will emerge from the manure with exceptional strength and faith. (Deuteronomy 31:16; Hebrews 13:5)
There is little disagreement that there are people who struggle financially, are hungry, and are homeless. Most of this mess is the result of secular circumstances and misguided decisions. The question then becomes, how does God show His love that provides a solution to such immense sorrow and suffering?
Even though God’s true love has been displayed through the giving of His Son’s life, humanity’s love for others is often filled with hypocrisy. We often talk about a situation but take no action. In all these afflictions, God’s love is designed to find its expression in service to mankind. He has placed His spirit in the hearts of those who pledge their love to Him to help those in a weakened state. (Romans 15:1-3)
This is active love by servants who proclaim the powerful, everlasting love of God.
God’s grace—His unmerited favor, characterize the nature of God. He is the only real superhero. Our very existence, the possessions we have, and the gifts and talents we have been given are in and of themselves of no value and warrant no standing or permanent value, without the love of God through Christ.
When we display His love, we confidently and boldly declare, Yes, God is very much alive!
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