In 2005 we’ve experienced Hurricane Katrina and Rita ; both providing devastating blows to life, property, economic well-being and feelings of security. For all of us, when tragedy and trial strikes, we ask “where is God?”
Mark D. Roberts points us towards ancient scripture that deals with our struggles. His commentary accompanies it.
Romans 8 acknowledges "the sufferings of this present time" (v. 18), and explains that these are a result of the brokenness of creation (vv. 20-22).
Romans 8 recognizes that sometimes we "groan" in pain, even as creation metaphorically groans along with us (vv.22-23).
Romans 8 offers the hope of a renewed creation, when it "will be set free from its bondage to decay" (v. 21).
Romans 8 recognizes that sometimes we don't even know how to pray (v. 26). This can be reassuring to folks who have run out of words. Their experience is common, and God has not shut His heart to them just because they can't find the right words in prayer.
Romans 8 reveals that in those times, the Holy Spirit helps us to pray, and, in the mystery of the Trinity, the Spirit even "intercedes" for us (vv. 26-27). What this means is God is profoundly on our side, even though our experience is painful and confusing, and it can seem like God is against us.
Romans 8 proclaims a mystery, namely, that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (v. 28). Even in hurricanes and floods and terrible suffering, God is at work, bringing eternal good out that which, on a human level, is horrendous. Thus even the most apparently meaningless horrors will somehow be given meaning in God's mysterious providence.
Romans 8 teaches the amazing truth that "God is for us" (v. 31). How do we know this? Because he gave up his own Son for us (v. 32).
Romans 8 assures us that nothing "will separate us from the love of Christ" (v. 35). Included in the list of that which cannot take us away from His love we find "hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword" (v. 35). Were Paul writing today, he might well have added "hurricanes, or tsunamis, or flu epidemics, or terrorism."
Romans 8 concludes with one of the most astounding and reassuring passages in all of Scripture. These verses needed to be quoted, not summarized:
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, no height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (vv. 38-39).
This, perhaps more than anything else, is what I would want the victims of the hurricanes to know. They may feel like God is distant or non-existent. It may seem like God has turned His back. But the truth is this: Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing.
Dr. Robert’s complete article is found HERE compliments of Hugh Hewitt’s blog ONETRUEGODBLOG.COM