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September 4, 2017

When Disaster Strikes: Part 1

“The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge ….” Prov. 14:32 (NLT)

 Disaster is indiscriminate. Jesus said,

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV2011)

This isn’t heaven. Expect trials and troubles to come. This doesn’t mean we have to be a Debbie Downer, walking around with our heads down with a doom and gloom attitude. In fact, Jesus forewarned us about trouble so that we could be forearmed. He said,

“Take heart!”

How? How can we be up when the world and circumstances knock us down? The Bible offers us seven proactive steps we can take when disaster strikes. This week, we’ll walk through those steps together as we find God’s path to be fully restored.

STEP 1:  RELEASE YOUR GRIEF

Jesus was called “… a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief….” in Isaiah 53:3 (NLT). Our tears are precious to God. He understands our sorrow and pain when disaster strikes. In Psalm 56:8 the Bible says,

“You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book.”

Our tears are precious to God. When disaster strikes, the first step to take is to own the grief you feel and release it to God. Don’t swallow it. It only creates bitterness and more pain. God will keep a record of our hurts when we give them to Him. That’s what Job did in Job 1:20 when disaster struck his household and all he had. The Bible says,

“Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship.” 

It’s been said, “The first step to healing is revealing your feeling.” Releasing your grief to God begins the process of recovery. Christ followers in the first century experienced that when disaster struck in a wave of persecution that would take the life of Stephen. Stephen was the first martyr of the church, stoned to death for his faith in Jesus. It was a horrific shock to the early church, but it didn’t silence them or their faith. It revealed their humanity and how to handle such painful loss. In Acts 8:1-2a, the Bible tells us,

“On that day a great persecution broke out … and all except the apostles were scattered … Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.” 

 Releasing your grief is normal. It’s a healthy response, precious to God. If you want to be fully restored, begin by releasing your grief to God and those who love you.