We have been receiving news from those who live and worship in Redding.
The fires are out of control there and believers as well as non believers have lost everything.
We can be quick to ask if this is the judgment of God at work. Many accuse Churches there of errors and from that base they prophesy into that situation and glibly prophesy that it is judgment from God.
First of all this is being cold at heart, as it would be ironic if one day we too experience a loss on the scale we are seeing and hearing. How would we respond if the general Christian community abroad were to glibly prophesy this way? I am sure great grief on top of the grief of losses that these residents are experiencing.
The whole question of judgment and revival has been treated on this site once or twice. I certainly have no indication concerning what God says about this.
Our convictions about judgment need a new approach particularly from a biblical context. I see a guiding principle that;
JUDGMENT in this life is redemptive and judgment in the next is permanent.
Therefore from this perspective, with taking into consideration both the new covenant and Romans 8.28 we can be assured that God is with those residents who lost everything and will recompense them fully and way beyond their imagination Ephesians 3.20.
The Book of Job clearly explains the hidden processes that go on when extensive loss is experienced. We see Satan conspiring and he does sometimes bring proving into our lives.
As with all losses experienced in this life we all see the “comforters” gather and give their erroneous theories. It brings no comfort. Just confusion.
My words to believers there is to take to heart Job’s example . What did he do? He retained faith and integrity in God’s goodness.
I believe it’s a test of faith. It is not God who is bringing these losses but He will be glorified in spite of them. And we know that Job was recompensed way beyond what he had before.
God is good and He shall manifest in that community as such as believers there demonstrate their resolve and steadfast faith.
As for the rest of us believers looking on it is the nature of the Spirit led believer to feel compassion toward them. The Bethel Church is a reference for many and also a target for some. However I am sure that in all they have done and preached will shine forth in this dark hour. So it is for us to pray and to ask for divine intervention for giving rain. And miraculous manifestation to show the fire being quenched.
And also if financial help can be sent for relief effort there it would be good to search out reputable funds for this relief.
It is time as believers that the love of God be understood and that we flow in His nature to feel the anguish of the community of Redding.