God, Tornadoes, And Faith (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

This time last week here in Birmingham, Huffman Baptist Church had completed a great day of fellowship & worship.  150+ attended our sunrise service & then at our 8:00 worship the house was almost full.  There was peace & rejoicing as we celebrated another Resurrection Day remembering that Jesus was no longer in the tomb, but alive!

None of us knew then what would happen 4 days later.  This past Wednesday will go down in weather history as a very tough day.  Tornadoes ripped thru MS to VA destroying businesses, houses, & lives. 

The death toll at this writing is 194… 128 in AL, 32 in MS, 15 in TN, 11 in GA, & 8 in VA.  We pray for God’s comfort & healing in the families of those who’ve lost loved ones.  We’ll be receiving a separate love offering at the end of the service for them… (Transition)

How are we to understand these events?  What does God give us in His Word to keep us on center & strong in our faith?  What is in Scripture we can stand on as the shock wears off?  I have several thoughts I’d like to point you to from our sovereign, loving, & merciful God.

Natural events are a mystery b/c God is God & we’re not.  “Just becaise we don’t see how some things can be good doesn’t mean they aren’t ultimately good.” 

Ecc 11:5 (NIV) As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

Is 55:8 My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

No one can u’stand the ways & purposes of God.  It is impossible for us to comprehend God’s motivation when events like this happen.  The same sun that softens wax hardens clay.  

In the midst of tragedy we serve the God who comforts. 2 Cor 1:3-5…

Blessed be the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies & God of all comfort, 4  who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, w/ the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

As Christians we believe God & His Word.  We trust Him in all things at all times.  Those affected by this tragedy need comforting.  They need us to be there to cry with them… to listen… to be the ones God uses to bring them comfort.  In these times we are God’s hands & feet to comfort the hurting…

We comfort those hurting by: Prayer… Giving of $ & material goods (food, clothes).

Transition.  Now we move into the more theological part of this message.  From this point I ask you to prayerfully… patiently… & humbly consider what I’ll present to you from Scripture.

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