Tens of billions of dollars worth of damage has already occurred with billions more projected. Oil prices continue to rise in the wake of potentially the most devastating storm in United States history. One of the world's most important shipping ports is currently closed. And ultimately the closure of this shipping port is projected to affect nations around the world that depend on United States grain.
More importantly, millions are without power. Tens of thousands have lost their homes and for many the lives they have come to know. Many have died and the death toll stands to rise.
In the wake of such a devastating and far-reaching natural disaster, and in a "God-fearing" nation where its citizens are accustomed to relative safety, security, and comfort, the question is routinely being asked: "Why would a loving God allow this to happen?" For others, events like hurricane Katrina serve to reinforce the fact that "there is NO God."
So, assuming that there IS a real God, why would He allow such tragedy to occur? The answers to this very important question can be found in the pages of your Bible!
In this most important of books Jesus Christ himself stated that Satan the Devil is the "Ruler of this World (Jn. 12:31). Later, the Apostle Paul was inspired to refer to Satan as the "god of this age (II Cor. 4:4)." We are also told that Satan is at times given power over the weather (Job 1:12, 19)… In fact, one of Satan's titles is "the destroyer" (Job 15:21). Ultimately we are told that one of Satan's ultimate aims is to deceive the whole world (Rev. 12:9). But deceive the whole world to do what? Give up believing in God perhaps? Curse or condemn God for His failure to intervene and protect the masses?
In times of horrific disaster and suffering, the thoughts of many turn TO God for answers, while the thoughts of many more turn away and are replaced with feelings of resentment and despair.
But can God really control the weather? Does He even concern Himself with the minute details of the impact of weather on the lives of puny human beings? You can count on the fact that He does!
Through the pages of the Bible we are told that God will bless those who obey Him, with rain in due season and abundant harvests and peace in the land (Lev. 26:3-6, Deut. 28:12). In fact, we're told that because of obedience to God, our blessings will actually "overtake" us (Deut. 28:1-2).
Conversely, we are told that if we disobey God, he will negatively affect the weather; withholding rain (Zech. 14:16-17) and even His "tender mercies" – which can include his protection (Ps. 40:11). God promises to punish the world and the wicked for their evil -- even shaking the heavens (Isa. 13:13). From the writings of King David, we understand that God will chasten or correct those that He loves. David requested that God "remove" His plague (or punishment) from him (Ps. 39:10).
Our modern society has departed from God and from the way of life taught through His Word. In a prophecy for the future, God inspired the prophet Jeremiah to write about an exciting event, when the modern nations of Israel will "return unto Me with their whole heart" (Jer 24:7). This will be a time eagerly anticipated by our Father in Heaven, when he will "build us up and not pull us down" (v:6) and when He will once more pour out His blessings on this earth.
There IS a God in heaven who does have a plan for all of mankind (Is. 14:27). He dearly loves all human beings and made us in His image (Gen. 1:26). And, like any loving Father, He corrects us from time to time when we go astray (Ps. 39:11). Ultimately too, we are told that world events, including weather catastrophes are indicitative of end-time events that will precede the return of Jesus Christ to this earth (Mt. 24:6,7,32-34).
Our ways are not God's ways, and our thoughts are not His thoughts (Isa. 55:8). God sees the true big picture and is working out world events according to His purpose – we can all find comfort in that, even in these very difficult days. And we can look forward to a time in the future when there will truly be no more sorrow, suffering, or pain (Rev. 21:4). What a wonderful world it WILL be!