Tuesday, October 25, 2016
what do we do with tragedy?
But tragedy does happen, doesn't it? In fact, it happens frequently without warning, discrimination, or apology. Yes, our world lends itself to tragedy all the time. And such "wrongness" deeply scars our tender souls.
This is when we ask God why. Why such unthinkable moments are allowed. Why suffering is permitted to be a part of this world. And then we must realize the vantage point and perspective from which we ask such a question. For this world is the problem, isn't it? This world is the tragedy. The disaster. The worst imaginable scenario. This world is what should never ever have happened. But it did. And we did it. We are to blame. This world is chaotic and unstable because we turned away from our Creator who loved us enough to give us complete freedom to choose to love Him in return. But instead, we chose not to love Him, didn't we? We went against His Word and chose the direction of a deceitful snake. And now this planet is exposed to the disease of sin because we betrayed our devoted Father and decided to do exactly what He told us not to do - thus proving our own selfishness and carelessness toward Him. Yes, in the beginning the God of all order and goodness lovingly made every perfect gift imaginable for His people to flourish and LIVE! And what did we do? We callously trampled all over his beautiful garden because we wanted to do things our own way. As such, to this very day we see the residual effects of our disloyalty: tragedy... disaster... brokenness... all plainly, painfully evident on a sinful planet that continues to separate itself from the Almighty. Here, the will of mankind still struggles to rule. So here, sin remains.
So what do we do with tragedy? There is only one answer. There is only one message. There is only one solution - one salvation and relief from the sufferings of this world. For our loving Master, in His mercy and grace, cared enough for us to offer a gift - a new hope to all mankind. A hope greater than the tragedies of today. A hope mightier than all worldly corruption. A hope greater than all our sins. And with this hope, God proves to us that nothing in our universe is insignificant to Him. Mankind still matters to Him - irrespective of the fact that He may or may not matter to us. Yes, God knows when every sparrow falls and He assures us in His Word that men will indeed face trouble in this earthly life. But even in these troubles, our Creator still loves us and has promised to eternally redeem those who choose to love Him in return. But the decision is still ours to make. Following His perfect will is for each of us to decide.
That said, God himself is never the source of tragedy. God is good. God loves us. God is perfect, just, and holy... and, most importantly, so is His will. This is why Jesus came to redeem and save. His will is the will of our Almighty Father's. His plan is God's plan to restore us into holiness in the presence of our Creator. This is why, no matter the sufferings of this world, we must always seek Jesus. For Jesus promises real peace. His Word is trustworthy because it is God's will. His Way is the right Way! (Romans 8:18-25; James 1:2-3; Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:7).
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:18-25)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:2-3)
While we wait for the blessed hope - the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:7)
C.S. Lewis once said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” This does not mean that God causes our tragedy, but rather He uses our reaction to tragedy to remind us not only that we live in an imperfect and fallen world, but that there is a new hope in His Son. God loves us and wants something better for us than this broken world has to offer.
So, as you encounter tragedy in this life, know this...
There is hope.
There is a solution to our corrupt problem.
There is salvation and relief from all suffering.
There is One who is greater than all our sins.
There is One mightier than every disappointment and "wrongness".
There is One willing to restore and renew us with our loving, perfect, and just Creator.
There is Jesus.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
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