This week's news:
- Reflection for Saturday: Where Is God When Disaster Hits?
- Inside the Ministry: "Be not afraid" to speak the truth
- New Footsteps to Heaven episode :
Saturday July 18, 2020
Psalm 10:1-4, 7-8, 14
Why, O LORD, do you stand aloof?
Why hide in times of distress?
Proudly the wicked harass the afflicted,
who are caught in the devices the wicked have contrived.
(From Saturday's Psalm reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Where Is God When Disaster Hits?
When disasters hit us, or when we witness destruction hitting the lives of other people, it’s normal to wonder: “Where is God? Why didn’t he prevent this?”
When a hurricane blows away the house of someone who is actively living a sinful lifestyle and who chooses not to believe in the saving love of Jesus, we might say, “Ahhh, it’s because he’s a bad person.” And when a nearby house is spared from destruction, and it’s got a statue of Jesus in the yard that was not broken by flying debris, we say, “Ahhh, it’s a miracle. The people who live there are good, and Jesus protected them.”
But when a faith-filled, praying Christian suffers the same destruction as the sinner, we become confused. We doubt our understanding of God’s protective love. And we become depressed, despairing, and discouraged. Where is God??? Why did he allow this to happen?
Faith is tested in crises. Those who trust God despite all evidence that says we should not are strengthened in the crises. Spiritual growth doesn’t normally occur in easy, comfortable times. It comes most powerfully when we have to force ourselves to choose to trust God.
Despair and hopelessness are based on a lack of trust in God. Doubts about God are based on what we see with our eyes — as if we can trust our eyes to see the whole picture. Faith tells us that there is a much bigger picture than what we could know or understand. Faith tells us that God has been working a plan — his own strategies — to turn sufferings and disasters into a greater good.
Often we move forward in spiritual growth and healing by taking action against the disaster, getting involved in the recovery process in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. For example, in the aftermath of a hurricane, depression can turn into a renewed understanding of God’s love if we help others who were affected by the storm, collecting goods for those who have lost everything, even if we ourselves have lost everything in the same storm.
Sometimes we’re moved forward by going to counseling. Today’s troubles might unconsciously connect our emotions to memories of the distant past. Getting stuck be a sign that a wound of long ago is begging to be healed.
Read the five stages of grieving and how they affect us spiritually; go to the WordBytes article on this topic @ wordbytes.org/suffering/disasters.
Inside the Ministry:
"Be not afraid" to speak the truth
Last week's newsletter generated lots of conversation in reaction to my reflection called "The Holy Spirit works with chocolate". The topic was how the Holy Spirit gives us the words to use, as well as a supernatural, joyful peace, when we say yes to the calling of Christ to speak the truth despite difficult circumstances.
Unfortunately, some people missed the point because I explained it in the context of a very hot topic. The example I used from my personal experiences became inadvertently more important than the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, I changed the example and posted it as an article on our WordBytes site. Please read “Be not afraid” to speak the truth @ wordbytes.org/holyspirit/be-not-afraid-to-speak-the-truth.
Heroes of the Faith
This new ministry provides prayers for and quotes by Saints who are heroic examples of how we are called to live in today's crazy and scary world.
Sign up today at elists.gogoodnews.net/dada/mail.cgi/list/saints.
New Footsteps to Heaven episode
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Listen to this podcast @ gnm.org/footsteps??.
Or watch the video @ gnm-media.org/???.
Now you can sign up for early access to podcasts!
New episodes of the podcast show Footsteps to Heaven are published weekly on Tuesdays. But now you can get early access to both video and audio versions!
New episodes are published on Fridays after this newsletter has been written and published. If you sign up, you can get them a week sooner than they are announced here. Subscribe at gnm-media.org for the podcast videos or at footstepstoheaven.com for the audio-only version.
God bless you!
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
And when you have to look at others, see them through his eyes.