Friday, May 9, 2008

Dearly Beloved:

GRACE, PEACE AND MERCY TO YOU, IN CHRIST.

A scientist said of the catastrophe, “The whole world shook.” Another called it “the worst natural disaster in the world’s history.” They were describing the underwater earthquake that devastated entire coasts in Asia a few years ago. An island in the Indian Ocean moved nearly 100 feet. Tens of thousands were left dead. Just recently a powerful cyclone swept Myanmar leaving an estimated 100,000 feared dead.

When awful disasters of this magnitude strike, I always go to the Father with one question: “Lord, what is this all about? Is there something you’re trying to tell humankind? Was this simply an unexplainable accident of nature, or is there something your people ought to know as to why it happened?”

We all sorrow and mourn for the indescribable pain and misery endured by multitudes. We have prayed earnestly for those afflicted. Our ministry has sent thousands of dollars through Christian relief agencies to help rebuild churches and homes in devastated areas. Scripture tells us our heavenly Father is touched by the very feelings of the wounded. The Holy Spirit pours out comfort to all believers in the nations affected.

America is a giving nation and very compassionate. I thank God for the response of so many who prayed, gave and went to those areas to help. But something deep within my soul troubled me. The magnitude of the disaster didn’t sink in. We seem to be numbed, stupefied by it all.

I thank God for good reports of blessings in areas of the world, including America. But if we cannot be brought to our knees by such unleashed power – if we cannot humble ourselves after witnessing the worst natural disaster in world history, the entire globe trembling – what will it take to silence the God-mockers? Are we now shockproof?

Think of the expulsion of God from our society in the name of political correctness…the whole world turning to secularism and materialism…a church growing more worldly than the world itself…the rise of violence and apathy, more so than in Noah’s day…the Bible no longer being accepted as God’s Word…a day “when everything that can be shaken is being shaken”…when power is unleashed that was one million times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima…when thoughtful people everywhere have an intuition that “somebody is tinkering with nature, something is happening that cannot be explained away”…when society continues its business without a single “God pause,” without even a thought that God will not be mocked. THAT IS THE TIME WHEN WE HAVE COME NEAR OR CROSSED A LINE INTO A SPIRITUAL STUPOR THAT NO AMOUNT OF DIVINE MERCY CAN AWAKEN.

God is merciful, gracious and ready to forgive. Jesus died to save this lost world; he did not come to destroy, maim or pour out wrath. Out of the terror and pain of the passion of Christ, redemption came. May Jesus demonstrate his love and compassion through his disciples, as the day of the Lord approaches.

PS
Several days ago, a powerful cyclone swept Myanmar leaving an estimated 100,000 feared dead.

World Challenge responded immediately to help the survivors through ministries who are already on the ground. If you would like to help, please write a check payable to World Challenge Inc. and mail to P.O. Box 260, Lindale, TX 75771, earmark "Myanmar Cyclone".