Romans 8:21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
When I watched my wife give birth, I got a limited appreciation of what "birth pangs" mean. Being a man, I can only have a very limited appreciation. But it didn't look like fun.
The Bible teaches here that CREATION is in a bondage of corruption. Somehow the natural order has also been affected by the fall in a way we don't fully understand. But the fall has not improved things here.
This may account in part for events such as floods and earthquakes.
We have these events because God's Kingdom has not yet come to the earth.
Jesus gave a sign of what the Kingdom of God meant when he rebuked the wind and the waves which were threatening to destroy the lives of his disciples.
Clearly Jesus has authority over nature.
I also believe to some extent, believers in Christ can exercise a measure of Christ's authority over destructive things in nature. I have heard reports of storms, cyclones and so on being rebuked by believers in the name of Jesus, and dissipating. I know people who have seen these things first hand.
I consider it likely that someone did this in Brisbane and it mitigated the disaster. They were expecting the water to rise another metre, and this never happened.
I do not believe God is unmoved by the prayers and faith of his children. Nevertheless, there are times when our prayers are apparently unanswered and we do not always understand the reasons why.
The Peril of Making this World your Focus of your Goals
Jesus Christ clearly taught us in Matthew's gospel:
Mat 6:19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
Mat 6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Later on Jesus said:
Mat 7:24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
Mat 7:25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
Mat 7:26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
Mat 7:27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
So then, if the loss of possessions means a great deal to us, Jesus warned us that we live in a world where this can happen. Its possible to lose everything, but we never have to lose our relationship with God. Keeping that intact depends on our choices, our attitudes, the way we sow into our own minds over the years and the kinds of choices we make in a crisis.
We should be investing into the Kingdom of God. True evangelism is something always worth investing in. Find a true evangelist and help him or her fulfil his or her mission. Or become an evangelist yourself, if God has called you to do so.
Its always a little dangerous to hold onto too much worldly wealth, even if we tell ourselves we are doing it so that one day we will be "filthy rich for God" and "finance the Kingdom of God". This kind of thinking is dangerous. The major giving tends to get postponed until "the next big deal comes through". But somehow, tomorrow never comes. There's always one more deal to be done, for those who are addicted to the game of making money. And one day, the floods come and wash everything away. If not literal floods, something else – litigation, personal tragedy, a bad business decision, being cheated – whatever.
If we devote our lives to hearing and obeying the Lord Jesus Christ, then even if we go through loss, the life we have built will STAND THE TEST. This matters.
If we have been unwilling to heed Christ's words, to know what He commands, and to obey Christ, if the world mattered more to us – then when tragedies strike – including the tragedy of our own personal demise, we will be unprepared and will stuffer GREAT LOSS, if not the loss of our own souls.
I believe that God is waking up those who have ears to hear of the urgency of the hour, the instability of the world and what it offers, and the opportunity that is there NOW to make a difference with your life for God's Kingdom.