Observation: The examples of judgment are not meant to say every bad thing that happens is God judging people. I think they are meant to cause us to take the tragedies around us and cause us to recognize the frailty of life and our need to repent and believe in Jesus so that we have eternal life before it is too late.
Question: How can Jesus want me to hate my family? Obviously when Jesus gives this instruction, He is not contradicting other things He says about loving others. The answer then has to be that our love for Jesus as our priority must be so central that all other loves pale in comparison. At the same time, this will actually enable us to love others far better than we can on our own.
Application: The Kingdom of Heaven appears to be irrelevant at times, but Jesus promises He is doing a work that will grow large and will permeate everything. I need to trust what He is doing even when I can’t see it.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I humble myself before You to serve You however You desire.