2 Chronicles 7:13-14 and 1 Timothy 3:1-5
Second Chronicles makes it very clear that when calamity comes, it is through the fingers of God. God sends rain on the just and the unjust, but His Word declares consistently that He is sovereign over rain and drought, pestilence and famine. His purposes in allowing hardship are sometimes inscrutable, but we trust His character. His ways are above our ways and His thoughts above our thoughts.
As we listen to the news and hear of the devastation of hurricanes and wildfires, mudslides and earthquakes, God is in control. There is a bigger picture playing out through all these events than most of us can grasp. Death, however tragic, is not the most important thing at stake in these situations. Eternal life is at stake. The opportunity for eternal life being offered to all peoples and all nations in fulfillment of God’s prophecies for the glory of His kingdom AND the blessing of mankind. We are being provided with opportunities all around us to be His hands and feet, binding up the wounded parts of the body, and sharing the Good News in places where it’s never been heard and in places where it has been forgotten.
Do I desire for God to heal the wounds of our nation and world? Second Chronicles provides the guidance: those who follow God must repent of OUR ways and turn more fully toward God. Notice that it does NOT say, those who follow God should demand unbelievers, who have no thought or respect of God, must follow Him. It doesn’t say that we should demand our rights and protest when we believe our rights have been violated – whether that is protesting the national anthem or protesting the removal of monuments. It doesn’t say anything about what those who don’t believe in God should do, but it provides convicting words for those who are called by His Name.
We, brothers and sisters, are to “humble [our]selves and pray and seek [His] face and turn from [our] wicked ways” so that God will hear, forgive, and heal. We are to counter the culture described so vividly in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 by being the opposite in every way: Be lovers of others, generous givers of money, humble, meek, gentle, obedient and honoring of our parents, demonstrating gratitude, holy in speech, conduct, and thought, showing love, forgiving as we’ve been forgiven, speaking only what is edifying, exercising self-control in every area of our lives, thoughtful and kind, lovers of all that is good, honest, thoughtful, understanding our position as servants of God, loving God above any pleasure this life has to offer — demonstrating daily the power of godliness to transform a life before a world that watches closely.
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