Even as a Christian, it’s hard not to be anxious while watching the evening news. War, inflation, pandemic, mass shootings…the list seems endless. I’ll admit, more than once I’ve turned off the TV after feeling my chest grow tight.
Has that happened to you?
Have you been tempted to ask, “Where’s God in all of this?” You’re not alone.
But before we answer that question, we need to do a little review. Come back with me to the beginning.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Genesis chapter 1 outlines the creation of the universe. And what a wondrous universe it is! Have you seen the photos NASA has released from the James Webb Space Telescope? The beauty is absolutely breathtaking! Our God is indeed an awesome God.
And yet there has not always been peace in the universe. Quite the opposite, in fact. If you go from the first book of the Bible to the last, you’ll find these words: “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down– that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).
This same heavenly battle is also depicted in Isaiah 14:12-14: “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You have said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
On Earth As It Is In Heaven
These two portions of scripture describe a power struggle in heaven. Satan desired to sit on God’s throne, usurping Him, and convinced some of the angels to join him in the rebellion. But God and the remaining angels were no match for them, and they were cast out of heaven, never to return.
We often see comics depicting the devil with horns and a pitchfork, living in a rocky cave filled with flames. The implication is that Satan resides in hell– but that is not the truth. The Bible says Satan and his angels were cast down to the earth. One day they will be thrown into hell forever (Revelation 20:10)– but that day has not yet come.
No, Satan is alive and well and living on planet earth– and he is not happy about it. He would love to return to heaven and seize the throne of God– but that is not possible. Unlike the picture that Hollywood portrays, though, the battle between good and evil is not an even match. Satan is a created being, a fallen angel, and while he does have some power, it is limited. God, on the other hand, is eternal and all-powerful. So since Satan cannot tear down and destroy almighty God, he has moved to plan B: tear down and destroy what God loves most.
And that brings us back to the beginning. Genesis 1 describes various acts of creation, and after each one we are told that “God saw and it was good” (emphasis added). That is no surprise– God is a good God, and everything He does is good.
Then God creates man in His image, and there is a subtle but vitally important change in wording: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good“ (Genesis 1:31).
Did you catch it?
Not just good– VERY good.
That little word tells us so much! It tells us that out of all that God created, He loves mankind the most.
And Satan found his target.
I’m sure you know the rest of the story (if not, you can read it in Genesis 3). Satan deceived Adam and Eve, and sin and death entered the world. And the devil has been wreaking havoc ever since. He hates us because he hates God. I Peter 5:8 tells us, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Jesus warned, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
The insurance companies are wrong when they attribute natural disasters to “acts of God.” No, disasters– whether natural or man-made– all have their origins in the works of Satan. Some people scoff at the idea of a devil, but that doesn’t protect them from his attacks.
Why do bad things happen? Because we live in a broken world and we have an enemy. That’s the first thing we need to understand.
Where is God in all of this? That’s the second thing we need to understand.
…And Good News
Back to the beginning. Genesis 1:2 says, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” God was here in the beginning…and He’s never left.
The greatest king in Israel, David, knew this. He wrote, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there” (Psalm 139:7-8). Wherever you go, there you are– and there is God.
Paul taught, “For in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God permeates every aspect of our life, whether we’re aware of Him or not.
Over 100 times in the Bible, God tells us He will be with us and will never abandon us. And Jesus promised, “Surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
So where is God in all of this? He’s right there in the middle of it all. When disaster strikes, He is there.
When terrible tragedies happen, He is there.
When there is hurt and loss and grief, He is there.
He always has been, and He always will be.
Remember God’s promise to Joshua, because it’s His promise to you also: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
His arms are always open to us. Take comfort in that. And in the anxious times, let Him embrace you and bring you His peace.
Need more encouragement? This list of verses will help: https://www.openbible.info/topics/i_will_never_leave_you_nor_forsake_you
“10 Things You Need To Know About Satan” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/10-facts-you-need-to-know-about-satan
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