Our world has suffered a number of natural disasters recently: two major hurricanes devastated areas of the U.S., and earthquake in Mexico claimed nearly 100 lives, just to name a few. As Christians, these kinds of events can threaten to shake our faith. How are we to interpret them? Is God angry at the world? Is He trying to teach us something? Is He punishing us? These five Christian leaders offer some insight into how to view natural disasters from a biblical perspective. Hopefully these quotes will strengthen your faith and encourage you that God is in control no matter what.
1. REV. BILLY GRAHAM
“God certainly can use natural disasters to speak to us—just as He can use other difficulties and tragedies to turn our hearts toward Him.
Disasters also can remind us of our need to help others, and not just be concerned about ourselves and our problems. Not long after Hurricane Katrina devastated large parts of New Orleans, my son Franklin and I visited the affected area. I will never forget the way that disaster brought people from different backgrounds together, especially in the churches. The Bible says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
We don’t necessarily know why God allows natural disasters to occur; sometimes Satan seems to have a hand in them. But the time to prepare for life’s crises is now, not when they strike. Is your faith and trust in Christ, and are you seeking to live for Him every day, no matter what happens.”
2. PASTOR JOHN PIPER
“Who suffers from this fallen world of natural disasters? All of us, Christians included: ‘Not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies’ (Romans 8:23). For those who cast themselves on the mercy of Christ these afflictions are ‘preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison’ (2 Corinthians 4:17). And when death comes, it is a door to paradise. But for those who do not treasure Christ, suffering and death are God’s judgment. ‘It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?’ (1 Peter 4:17).”
3. KIRK CAMERON
“When he puts his power on display, it’s never without reason. There’s a purpose. And we may not always understand what that purpose is, but we know it’s not random and we know that weather is sent to cause us to respond to God in humility, awe, and repentance.”
4. NANCY LEIGH DEMOSS
“God uses events that turn our world upside down to drive us to cling to him. Sometimes it is just raw, naked faith. I can’t see. I can’t sense. I don’t know how this will end, how He will solve it or fix it. I’m in some troubles right now that I don’t know how God is going to resolve. So what do you do? You cling to God, who is our refuge, our strength, and our help.
So, those tsunamis, those floods, those typhoons, those storms—they remind us and drive us to Him, and they remind us that our only true security is found in Him. If you have placed your hope in the things or people of this world, which all of us have to greater or lesser degrees, then you have reason to be fearful. Because when you’re world gives way, all you have trusted and hoped in and found refuge in will be lost. It will be swept away.
But if you have placed your hope in the eternal God, though all else around you gives way, then when it is all said and done, you will still have intact your most precious and necessary Possession. Capital P.”
5. TIM TEBOW
“Regardless of how your life will impact others and what that will look like, I just know that when your identity is grounded in God, when you trust in Him, you become part of a bigger picture. And you begin to live out this wonderful poem He has written for your life. This is the truth when life is smooth sailing, and this is the truth when storms come.” Except from Tebow’s book Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms.