Almighty God reserves the right to reveal some things and conceal others. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29) Although we may not know why natural disasters occur, the biblical truths we do know with absolute certainty allow us to trust the Lord even in times of great suffering. “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps. 46:10) These include:
1. God is in control (Ps. 103:19). Nothing in heaven or on earth is outside of His rule and authority. He does not react to events but sovereignly ordains or permits them to run their course. Although we cannot know for certain if He has sent a catastrophe or allowed it, we can trust in His goodness and wisdom.
2. The Lord loves people and wants them to be saved (John 3:16-17). Giving His Son for the salvation of the world proves without a doubt that He loves each person. This truth stands firm despite the fact that many reject the Savior. He cares for us, even when we can’t feel it or won’t accept it.
3. God ordains or permits events for His good purpose (Isa. 46:10). Though we cannot fully comprehend what He is doing in each incident, every disaster is a wake-up call for humanity. He is alerting us of the need to repent—so the lost can be saved and the saved can be revived to live totally for Him. Catastrophes open our ears to hear from the Lord.
The One who loves us perfectly is in full control, working everything out according to His good purpose. Knowing this should fill us with hope, even in the midst of crisis situations. The Lord even promises to turn disaster to good for those who “are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).