5 Kingdom Responses to Natural Disasters
by Steve Backlund
In response to the flooding in Houston and Hurricane Irma touching down in Florida, Igniting Hope Ministries is praying for supernatural healing, provision, and restoration over the communities, families, and businesses affected by these terrible natural disasters. We pray in this time of grieving, those affected would experience the love of the Father, the comfort of the Comforter, the healing of the Healer, and the power of our mighty God who restores all things.
We pray this blog strengthens the spirits of those affected with great hope as you rebuild, and encourages the Body of Christ to express God's love in their support of these communities, and to give insights into how to decrease natural disasters in the future.
1. Weep with Those Who Weep – Jesus wept. He wept with Lazarus' family even though He knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead in three days. Death and destruction is not from God. He can resurrect life and redeem the effects of loss. Job had only 6 months of intense loss, yet hundreds of years of intense abundance. The 6 months of loss were from the enemy's attacks, the hundreds of years of abundance were from God's goodness & recompense toward a righteous man and his family line. Let us not be like Job's friends who tried to find any fault in Job that could have brought the destruction upon him. God rebuked them sharply, but gave recompense to Job.
2. Go to the Depths and Invite Holy Spirit In – Do not run from pain or turn to false comforts. Give God the fullness of your pain, and He will give you the fullness of His goodness INSTEAD. Isaiah 61 promises that Holy Spirit comforts those who mourn and gives them both personal comfort AND the keys to rebuild In their cities and families after devastation. If we want to know how to access the miracles of God, it is through asking for His supernatural compassion. He will let you experience His very heart for His people, which often manifests with a miracle to break through any walls between Himself and His people. Let Him set a feast of His goodness before you, in the midst of the enemy's attacks on our loved ones and our land.
3. Jesus Was Not Passive About the Storms He Faced, Neither Should We Be Passive – “Then (Jesus) arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). In John 14, Jesus said we would do what He did, and even greater things. He protected life by using His spiritual authority, so must we.
4. We Cannot Use Experience to Create Our Doctrines or Identity Beliefs – “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Matthew 11:23). If we conclude that seemingly unanswered prayer is because God actually wanted there to be a hurricane, then we will become fatalistic and passive in our spiritual lives, and not make the difference we are called to make. We are all growing into the place where our words and faith cause disasters to cease (and lives and property to be protected).
5. As the Kingdom Advances, There Will Be Fewer Disasters Such as Hurricanes – Jesus instructed us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). There are no disasters in heaven, so we are to expect a decrease of them as we pray this prayer (just as there will be a decrease in crime, sickness, family dysfunction, etc.)
It is challenging to speak to the topic of disasters in a short blog like this, but I trust this has been helpful. My books Divine Strategies for Increase and Cracks in the Foundation will give greater insight to the thoughts I share here.
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.