With the devastation of Hurricane Harvey still looming and now Hurricane Irma sweeping through the south, Christians around the United States have asked, "Where is God?". Some believe that the natural disasters are a sign of God's wrath, while others believe that they are an indication of the lack of God in our society. Max Lucado, a preacher and best-selling author, believes that regardless of what it means, we can still see God in the midst of the storm.
Lucado, the former pastor at Oak Hills Church in Texas, has written almost 100 books. While he has sparked some controversy, he was named "America's Pastor" by Christianity Today and was named "The Best Preacher in America" by Reader's Digest in 2005. He has been featured on almost every major news network and as the featured speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Now, Lucado has a response to the inevitable question, "Where is God?". In a recent article for Fox News, Lucado described the natural disasters taking place in the North America, from floods to hurricanes to wildfires to earthquakes.
He asked, "How can this all be happening? How should we respond? And, most of all, where is God? Scripture has answers."
Lucado noted Luke 21:25, which says, "There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea," (NIV).
He said, "Natural disasters may surprise us, but they do not surprise God. Increasing frequency of natural calamities are like the birth pangs of pregnancy—indications of an impending delivery. Christians do not know when Christ will return, but we believe we will see '…the Son of Man coming in the cloud with great power and glory. When these things (natural disasters) begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near,' (Lk. 21:27-28, NIV).
Lucado wrote that it is time to "Lift up prayers. Lift up hope. Lift up your hearts. God is above this storm."
He said, "Turn your attention away from the crisis and, for a few minutes, celebrate God. It does you no good to obsess yourself with your trouble. The more you stare at it, the bigger it grows. Yet, the more you look to God, the quicker the problem is reduced to its proper size."
He said that the strategy of the Psalmist is to "lift up my eyes." Instead of meditating on the mess, he advocates to set our eyes upon the Lord.
Lucado tied this message to the passage in Matthew 14 where Jesus asked Peter to walk on water. He said that "as long as Peter focused on the face of Christ, he did the impossible." He then noted that when Peter's gaze shifted, he fell.
He added that God is still in control and quoted 1 Timothy 6:15. Lucado wrote that God is still sovereign, is more mighty, and knows the answers to the questions.
He finished, "Pray, armed with the knowledge that God is in control. Face the uncertain future with conviction. Our good God in heaven overseeing this stormy world. We may not be able to see his purpose or his plan, but the Lord of heaven is on his throne and in firm control of the universe and our lives. The storm is coming, but God is with us. Look ahead and chart a path to safety. Look around and see who you can help. And look up to the God who loves you. He can be trusted with your future. And he can be trusted with your very life."
What do you think about this? Let us know your thoughts and prayers on Facebook. For breaking news, read our latest article about the damage that Hurricane Irma has caused so far after it just hit US mainland.