By: Dianne Ennis
In looking at our nation and all that is going on around the world, it is safe to say we are at a time in history like we have never seen before. Between blood moons and eclipses to fires, hurricanes and earthquakes, to division and disunity, horrific slaying of innocent lives, terrorism, and war, we are living in both the miraculous and terrifying times. What about sickness and disease being at an all-time high?
God must be punishing us for something, right? He must be angry and throwing his fist at us.
First off, who is God? Do you know him? Do you know his character? More importantly, do you know His Love, and do you know that God is good? As a parent myself, I could not fathom putting my child in a horrific situation, like a flood, and watching my child drown just to prove a point, or because I was angry at him. I wouldn’t put him in a building, only to have a plane fly into it, and watch my child burn, just because he didn’t listen well. Yet, we think God as a loving Father would do this?
So many people are trying to explain what is happening to our world. They are hurting, and have lost everything, and end up blaming God. I would have to say the reality is that they don’t believe God is good. Of course, it is easy to say God is good when things are going right, but what about when things are going wrong? It is easy when your bank account is full, but what about when you cant afford milk?
Does God’s goodness change depending on circumstances?
What does good even mean? In looking up this word in the dictionary, good is something or someone being perfect, also it means abundance, and what is morally right. Good is showing no signs of lack. For example, in Genesis 1, God called everything into creation and God was the ultimate judge and said, “It is good!” On the other hand, in Genesis 2:18, God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone. God saw he was in lack and so He gave him Eve. That’s what good does. It makes something better. Not worse. In Psalm 25:8 it says, “Good and upright is the Lord: therefore, will he teach sinners in this way.”
My friends, God is a good God! He wants to bring increase into our lives, anything we lack. Despite our ups and downs and whether we are rejoicing high on the mountain top or feeling desperate in the valley, it doesn’t change the love or goodness of our God.
Yet, on the contrary, we live in a fallen world where the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom He may devour. (1 Peter 5:8) The enemy is a deceiver and is good at what he does. For an example, look at all the broken marriages. The enemy has distorted the sanctity and unity of marriage. How many of the Ten Commandments has the enemy twisted, and now people are buying into those lies? Look also at abortion. God plainly says, “Thou shall not kill”, yet the enemy, in his twisted tactics, has changed thought patterns even in Christians to believe that women’s rights or the situation in which a child was conceived outweighs Gods command.
We must look at both the character of God and the character of the enemy of this world and realize that God, being good, is not who we are fighting against. He is not causing the destruction, or causing us to make bad decisions. He does not cause calamity, disaster or sickness! God’s whole plan for us is about redemption! That is why He is called Savior. He has come to save us from the destruction of the enemy’s world! He seeks and saves the lost, restores hope, giving grace as a free gift and sacrificing everything to give us a choice to come make our home with Him.
He pursues us, anxiously waiting for us to fall into His open arms, no matter what our lives look like or what sin we have fallen into. I would say that is Good!
So, let’s look at what is going on in the world. I know all of us are affected by these tragedies we are living through in one way or another. In Luke 21, Jesus speaks about the future. Two themes are very clear here, one is the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple (which has already happened in 70 ad) and the second coming of Christ. All the things in Luke 21 are happening now– wars, earthquake, floods, Christians being killed for their faith. You name it and it is happening. Now, does God say that means He is punishing us? No, but he does say in the last days (before He takes His people into His loving arms and gives us a new home without any pain and suffering) these things will happen. Does it mean that God is coming tomorrow or next month or 20 years from now? We don’t know that, and not even Jesus himself knows the exact day or hour of his return. Trying to predict from the calamity of this earth when God is coming is not really God’s point in this passage.
What I really get from Luke 21 is not even about all the things that will happen prior his return, but what the focus is rather: Will you be ready when He does? How should we be living now in the face of our circumstances and the trials that surround us? What will enable you to stand firm in the storm? What is your God given mission and purpose while you are here? If something happened to you today, if you were part of an attack on American soil, where would you go to spend eternity, as well as your family, friends and neighbors?
Luke 21 is a call, my friends, to take a close look at our life and examine it! God is calling us, because He is good and His love endures forever. He wants you to be with him. God wishes that none would perish, not even one. (2 Peter 3:9)
He is calling you out of the storm to live for such a time as this.
There are hurting people everywhere looking for a hope and a savior. God is entrusting you to go, spread and advance His love and goodness to the world. Mark 16:15 tells us the what and how we are supposed to live out our days. Rise up saints, we have a mission field in front of us.
The darker the storm, the brighter the God within us should shine!
Dianne is a wife, a mother to five kids and a passionate, mission-minded woman. Her heart is to connect and encourage others with the truth of their identity in Christ, through God’s transforming love, word, and power. You can read more from her on her blog: livingalifeoftriumph.com