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Graceful Perseverance: God at Work

Posted October 29th, 2017 @ 11:10am

Welcome to this week's blog. I'll be discussing the book of Daniel. Daniel displayed remarkable courage and faith throughout the endless trials of his day. In the book of Daniel, God shows us how He is really in control of the heavens and the earth and everything in it. Past and present, He continues to direct the forces of nature, the destiny of the nations and the passing and changing of our lives throughout all generations. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things. - Isiah 45:7.

Twenty-five centuries ago Daniel could have despaired. Daniel and thousands of his citizens had been deported to a foreign land, uncharted territory after Judah had conquered the land. Daniel was faced with an egocentric dictator and surrounded by idolaters. Instead of surrendering to them or giving up, this courageous young man held fast to his faith in God. Daniel knew that despite the circumstances he faced, God is a sovereign God, and He was working out His plan for the nations and all individuals. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. - Matthew 24:7. The book of Daniel centers around the profound truth that God is a sovereign God.

When I read the book of Daniel, I think about all the natural disasters that are currently sweeping our globe, and I ask "Why is this happening?" According to what I hear and read, these disasters are all a part of God's ultimate plan to rebuild our land and our communities, as well as a plan to draw His children closer to Him through hope and faith. Do you realize that we can build trust in God through any trial we go through? Because He's always been faithful to us, we should also remain faithful to Him. We must help strengthen each other with courage and help each other grow stronger in our faith in God, who is the Master of the Universe. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6.

In our generation, our trials might include: a drunk driver taking the life of an innocent victim, or a divorce shattering a home and a family. Earthquakes shake the ground at our feet; tornados blow away our lifetime treasures. And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. - Revelation 11:13. National history is changed by an assassin's bullet, and terrorism horrifies a community and a nation. International and personal tragedies make our world seem like a very fearful place to live that is overflowing with corruption, crime and evildoers. It seemingly looks and feels like this world is out of control. These bombings, murders and natural disasters could cause any of us to believe that God is absent or impotent and isn't coming to our rescue. "Where is God?" we cry, engulfed by sorrow and despair.

We must never lose sight that God is a sovereign God. He was in control in Daniel's generation, and He is still in control in our generation still. He has never left us or forsaken us as contrary to circumstance as this seems. He has been moving in our lives for centuries, controlling the destinies for all of mankind. He is here today, right now. Despite all that we hear and watch on the news, and our own personal trials from day to day, we can be confident that God is here: He is in control and He's working on our behalf behind the scenes. As we look at the natural disasters that have hit our nation, watch God's hand at work in rebuilding our communities, and the victim's lives into something much better than we had ever hoped for. Let this be your security in His sovereignty.

God is our all-knowing, and He is in charge of world events. God is the only one who can truly overrule and remove rebellious leaders who defy His commands. God does and will overcome evil every time; no man or woman is exempt. He does deliver the faithful, those who follow Him, from pain and suffering in this world.

How is God in control of natural disasters? Is God really at work?

Look what's happening in Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Families are in desperate need of help. Communities and rescue and relief organizations across the world are reaching out to help these innocent victims. Everyone is selfless by pulling us together so that everyone can have hope, keep the faith and become stronger and more resilient. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. - Romans 12:12.

Hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic with widespread flooding, causing loss of power. And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and waves. - Luke 21:25. God has called charity groups and national organizations and rescue relief crews to respond and help them rebuilt their communities and their lives. God is instilling faith and hope in every victim of Hurricane Maria and Irma. He is empowering others to join forces to help each other rebuild their lives. God will always bring good in troubled times. God gives and God takes away. And he said:..."The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." - Job 1:21. We will never fully understand why God does what He does, especially when it comes to natural disasters. One thing is for sure: He never leaves our side. He is with us through it all. Many might say, "If there is a God, why would He destroy our homes, take our land, and take away what we once knew as our life, our homes, our families?

In my own life, whenever God has blessed me with something and then taken it away from me later, I've learned that when God takes something from me, it is for His purpose, a part of His bigger plan for my life. But every time, He has always replaced it with something so much better than what I could ever have imagined. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28.

The bigger plan, not our plan, but God's pre-destined plan for our lives, is always the best plan for everyone involved, every time. It is proof that God really is in control, not only of nature, but also of our nation and our lives as well.

Where was God in the multiple earthquakes that recently struck Mexico? There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. - Luke 21: 11. Less than two weeks following an 8.1 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Mexico that killed at least 225 people, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck central Mexico. It coincidently happened to be the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico earthquake that killed thousands of residents in that same area. Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. - Revelation 11:19. 

How has God changed the lives of those involved in Hurricane Irma? Is God at work there too? Hurricane Irma made landfall in the U.S. as a category 4, causing widespread damage. Who has God called upon to respond to the victims of this natural disaster? I know World Vision is there, as well as many other relief and rescue organizations to support and encourage the victims with the cleanup, damage repairs, and to rebuild their communities by joining forces in loving and caring for our neighbors, according to God's plan. God commanded us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If you haven't noticed, God has a bigger plan that supersedes damages or destruction from natural disasters.

God is everywhere all the time. He's at work in Texas after Hurricane Harvey struck in the middle of the night on August 26? Families, neighbors and surrounding communities once again are joining forces to love and support each other through yet another natural disaster. Could it be that God allows natural disasters to take place so that the slate can be wiped clean and He can put people in place to donate their time and energy in loving and helping others rebuild their lives? For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. - 2 Corinthians 5:1. Could it be that God's pre-destined plan is all about leveling the playing field by taking everything away from us that we were once worshiping more than God himself? Isn't He showing us that He is the one and only true God we should be worshiping and not idling things of this material world?

I must mention the recent fires in Northern and Southern California. What areas will be spared? Who's safe and who's not?

I recently learned from a dear friend who lives in California, that in Santa Rosa alone 5,000 homes burned to the ground, which was only part of the damage in that area. I understand some vineyards have been fortunate and were saved, but others not so fortunate.

All of the natural disasters that have recently captured the hearts of minds of many around the globe have caused a stir, which caused many to reach out to help their fellow man with physical labor, donations or sending prayers to them to help them through their devastation. We are all in one way or another giving them hope and growing their faith.  These acts of kindness and paying it forward means truly demonstrate to all of us that everything is going to be alright at the end of the day because we each have each other through every trial and tribulation man endures.

The Lord has promised we never have to go it alone, according to our faith and hope in our Heavenly Father. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isiah 41:10.

Blessings until next week,

Debra Pauli

Unstoppable Believer

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