Oh that life would be without its problems.  That is not reality for though life is a wonderful gift from God the Scriptures tell us … “man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7 NIV).

To stop with that thought can be and is discouraging unless you continue reading the succeeding verses which declare God’s goodness and faithfulness toward the afflicted and oppressed.  Instead of despairing, Job declares his intentions ... "But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He bestows rain on the earth; he sends water upon the countryside. The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness and the schemes of the wily are swept away. Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth” (Job 5:8-16 NIV).

In the midst of the storms and destruction faced by the peoples of our area, there have been rays of hope, love and compassion directed toward those in desperate need. Tireless efforts to rescue, restore and protect lives and property have been displayed not only by loved ones, friends and neighbors, but by untold numbers of strangers. This inner drive to band together against adversity surely comes from more than a so-called base instinct to survive.  It is God who has placed eternity in the hearts of man and the motivation to preserve and desire life, and by faith to respond to the love of God.  It is God who reaches out to mankind through varying circumstances to reveal Himself, His compassion and love.  Ours is the privilege of responding and demonstrating God’s love to those in need.

The supreme divine example of love was not merely declared; it was demonstrated by the Heavenly Father in Jesus Christ.  John penned it thus … “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17 NIV).  The “world” repeated four times in these two verses is all inclusive, encompasses every generation ever to exist in human history, includes all nations, peoples and languages.  Its breadth is unlimited and yet it penetrates the totality of humanity to pointedly target individuals -- you and me.  We can become His child through simple faith in the fact that Christ died on the Cross for our sins and receive His payment for sins as a free gift.  An eternity with God is thus assured and secure regardless of what comes into our life.

The Apostle Paul expressed that confidence with these words … “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."   No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:35-39 NIV).