I remember in grade school, reading books from what I considered fascinating historical times. The American Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Westward Expansion eras always drew my attention. I remember thinking, “Wow, life was so different and difficult back then.” I thought that a lot of what took place happened because it was the “old times” and that, even though I knew in my short lifetime there had been trouble and turmoil worldwide, it would never touch me. But now here we are amid a pandemic. And our lives have all been changed by what is happening throughout the world today. While all of this trouble and turmoil are around us, we can remember that this is nothing new. Throughout time, plagues and unrest have been a staple. Take a look below at a few times in the Bible where God has used turmoil in His salvation story.
The account of the flood in Genesis shows us that God’s covenant with Noah to never flood the Earth again is forever. “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations” (Genesis 9:12). God’s promise here reminds us He still saw His creation, mankind, as good, even after the fall. And to restore His creation, those made in His image, God Himself would become one of us. This story points us to the faithfulness of the Lord—just as He delivered His people from the flood, He delivers us through His Son.
When I look at rainbows, knowing they are a sign of that promise, I remember that God brought His people through that storm, He has brought me through today, and He brings His children to eternal life. Through Jesus, we have ultimate safety.
The Book of Job
The Book of Job is one of my favorites. During my freshman year of college, I took a class (at a secular university, mind you) called Themes of Medicine in the Old and New Testaments. It became instrumental in my faith journey. One of the main things we did in the class was to study the Book of Job. In Job, we see so much suffering. We see turmoil. We see death. But over all of that, we see God’s mercy and His plan to work all for good.
Reading the Book of Job shows us that while we can question God, we ultimately don’t know what He is planning—that God is God, and we are not. Job lost everything: his wealth, health, and family. For a long time, he still praised God and refused to give in to negativity. But eventually, his friends and wife wore him down and he questioned God. And what was it that brought him back to the light? It was God himself, caring for Job. God is the sustainer and the giver of all that is good.
The Ten Plagues of Egypt
The Passover story is one of great deliverance. It was one of the first passages I thought of when writing this post. Before the actual Passover, the Lord brought nine plagues upon Egypt (the death of the first-born children being the tenth). When I read the Book of Exodus and see how God used ten plagues to keep His promise of salvation, it sometimes shakes me a little. You see, I know that I can feel at peace because God sustained His people through all of the ten plagues. But what about those who weren’t His, especially during the actual Passover? Can I have compassion for children and families who suffered? The answer is yes, but that isn’t the end of the story, because we know God works all for good. This reminds me that evangelism is of eternal importance.
In evangelism, God uses us to speak His Word to those who need to know there is hope and eternal security, that God sustains and saves and loves and gives grace. Each of these biblical accounts points us to the truth that we cannot save ourselves—it’s God’s job to do that—and through Jesus, we have the gift of eternal life.
Share that hope today during this time of our own turmoil.