These were not "BAD PEOPLE!" In fact, they were "INNOCENT JEWISH MEN," actually "GATHERED TOGETHER FOR WORSHIP," and there is no indication that they had "PROVOKED AN ATTACK!"

Because of the fall of sinful man, "EVIL" things happen in this world! Homicides, rapes, drunk drivers, school shootings, church shootings, bombings, drug wars, terrorist attacks, and the list goes on... "EVIL THINGS HAPPEN," because we live in an "EVIL world!"

As a result, both the "GOOD AND THE BAD" often suffer the consequences!

B. Please Notice That Sometimes Bad Things Happen As A Result Of External Causes:

In Luke 13:4-5 Jesus went on to ask, "Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

Because of "THE CURSE OF DEATH," "BAD THINGS" happen as a result of natural "EXTERNAL" causes!

"Hurricanes," "Tsunamis," "Tornadoes," "Floods," "Earthquakes," and other natural disasters just happen, affecting both "GOOD PEOPLE" and "BAD PEOPLE!"

Unfortunately, the easy way out when "BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE" is to blame God! Why did He allow it? Why didn't He prevent it? Where is the so-called loving God in the midst of all this? Listen carefully, just because tragedy strikes, that does not mean God has "FORGOTTEN" or "FORSAKEN" His people! Knowing that "NOW" will help you "WHEN" those difficult times occur!

He didn't promise to always keep us from the storm, but instead, Hebrews 13:5b promises,

"for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

 

Please don't miss this "TRUTH:"

God may not choose to reveal the purpose behind some catastrophe!

Why not? Because Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us,

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

When "THE STORMS OF LIFE" come our way, our attitude should simply be the same as that of Job, when he said in Job 13:15a, " Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:"

II. "GOD IS TRYING TO TEACH US THE TRUST PRINCIPLE!"

Job 2:9-10,

"Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips."

"HOW ONE REACTS TO THE STORMS OF LIFE REVEALS HIS OR HER LEVEL OF

TRUST IN GOD!"

A. Notice The Example Of A Bitter Attitude:

Job 2:9 says, "Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die."

We sometimes forget that "MRS. JOB" also lost her home, her children, and all her possessions! Perhaps such a tragedy caused her to lose her "TRUST" in the Lord!

B. Notice The Example Of A Better Attitude:

Job 2:10 tells us, "But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips."

What was the difference between Job and his wife?

No matter what "STORMS OF LIFE" he faced, Job understood, as he declared in Job 19:25-27, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:"

"TRUST" is not just something that is "PROFESSED," it must be "PROVEN" and "PRACTICED!" It's not contingent upon one's "CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE" but rather, upon one's "CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD!"

No doubt that's what Proverbs 3:5-6 means when it instructs us to,

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Scripture does not teach that we will never have to face the "THE STORMS OF LIFE," instead; it teaches that they will either make us a "BITTER PERSON" or a "BETTER PERSON!"

 

Genuine "TRUST" might best be described in the words of Psalm 18:30 when it declares,

"As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."

III. " TO TEACH US IS THE TEACHING PRINCIPLE!"

Job 1:21-22 says,

"And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."

One of the great paradoxes of "LIFE" is the fact that the most precious thing man possesses in "LIFE" is "LIFE," yet, he never really posses it, because all men belong to God! Therefore, he just borrows "LIFE" for a season, and then one day it's gone!

As Job 14:1 says,

"Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

Once we understand the "FRAIL," "fragile," and "FLEETING" nature of "LIFE," we can begin to see how God can use sickness, tragedy, and even death for His purposes.

A. God's Grace, In The Storms Of Life, Gives The Assurance Of Hope:

II Corinthians 12:9a states, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."

And, II Thessalonians 2:16b speaks of the "God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,"

"GOD WANTS HIS CHILDREN TO KNOW THAT WHEN THE STORMS OF LIFE STRIKE, HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!"

B. God's Grace, In The Storms Of Life, Gives The Assistance Of Help:

Hebrews 4:16 instructs us in the midst of life's storms to

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

Hurricane Katrina has provided an opportunity for Christians everywhere to "PROVE" the "GRACE" of God, by reaching out to others! This is the time to put into practice what Luke 6:38 teaches when it says to, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

Believers are the "INSTRUMENTS OF GOD'S LOVE AND GRACE" in a lost and dying

world! That's why I John 3:17 asks, " But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"

Perhaps, Hurricane Katrina is not as much a "DOOR OF DESTRUCTION" as much as a "DOOR OF DEMONSTRATION" for God's people to "SHOW" and "SHARE" His amazing

love!

Illustration: This Is Good

The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!"

To which the king replied, "No, this is not good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake.

As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.

"You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this."
"No," his friend replied, "This is good!" "What do you mean, ’This is good’?

How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?" "If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you."