When we look around this world, we see all kinds of suffering – fires, drought, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms of nature and, sadly, man-made storms.
We have just passed the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We may ask: “Why is all of this happening?” “Is God trying to tell us something?”
All of these disasters – natural and man-made – are a direct result of sin. Sin permeates this world. This world is a fallen and sin-filled place. Sin is disobeying God. Sin affects us and those around us. Romans 8:22 tells us that all creation groans because of sin.
If we look into our lives and measure ourselves in light of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5), we soon see that we are sinful. The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23 that the “wages of sin is death.” Because of our sin, we deserve death.
Where, then, is our hope? It is true that “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus came into our world to save and rescue us from our sin. Jesus came to take away our punishment that our sins deserve. God the Father’s punishment was emptied out upon his son at the cross of Calvary.
Jesus came to suffer and die for the sins of all people. He spoke three very important words on the cross: “It is finished!” The punishment was paid in full! Salvation was earned by his death and resurrection. God is not out to punish us further. Remember, “It is finished!”
What do we say about these disasters? God uses them to draw us closer to himself, to show us what is most important in life. It is not the things we accumulate, which can be gone in an instant, but rather it is our relationship with our savior. There is one thing that cannot be stripped away: Our faith in our Savior Jesus – the one who rescued us from our sin. It is very important that we grow in our relationship to our savior, by remaining in his word, and receiving his gifts of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We must remember that Jesus paid the price of salvation on the cross. God is for us, as recorded in Romans 8:31; “If God is for us, who can be against us?” This promise is a reminder that when the challenges of this world become heavy, and at times seem hopeless, we need to remember that God is for us.
Our heavenly father loved us so much that he sent his only begotten son into the world. Jesus came to save the world, that whoever believes in him, will have eternal life.
As we live our daily lives, we need to remember and share this wonderful news. God is not against us; rather, he is for us, in Jesus Christ.