Thursday, May 30, 2013

How should we view a tragedy or a disaster?

It is common after a disaster or a tragedy to ask questions. Often people will ask “Where was God?” when something negative happens. A question like this will arise after a natural disaster or even something more personal like an illness or getting fired from a job. This post will attempt to answer the questions of “Why do bad things happen?”, “Where is God when bad things happen?” and “How should I live in the midst of tragedy?”. The bulk of the answers to these questions will come from Romans chapter 8.

Point #1 - God is there!
    • Like a Father and his children, it pains God when we hurt.
    • It hurts God to see His creation subject to suffering at our own hands or the hands of others.
    • God wanted us to live without suffering (in the paradise of Eden) but because of sin there is pain and suffering in this world.
    • Creation changed from the first sin onward.
    • There will be a time when he redeems this fallen creation from its suffering.
    • There will be a time when all suffering will end and all wrongs will be made right.
      • It may not be on our appointed schedules, but it will according to Gods.
      • God knows all, sees all, remembers all and GOD IS JUST!
      • God will make it right!
Point #2 - The Sufferings Now Will be Forgotten in the Joys of Eternity.
    • “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us”. (Romans 8:18)
      • Right now the suffering we go through may seem unbearable, but compared to what we will receive in eternity even death does not seem that big.
      • Eternal JOY awaits us on the other side. 
Point #3 - The Earth Awaits The End of Suffering.
    •  “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (Romans 8:20-22).
      • The Earth is not always going to be pleasant. Sin changed creation. Like us, the Earth is waiting for the suffering to end.
Point #4 - We Must Wait Patiently for the Redemption From Suffering.
    • “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:23-25)
Point #5 - There is Help and Hope During Suffering
    • “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26)
      • When tragedy strike and we do not know what to ask, the Spirit will intercede for us in prayer.
      • God knows us better than we do. God knows what we need. Through the intercession of the Spirit our needs are articulated to the Father.
    • “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)
      • Although there may be suffering in this life, in eternity it will all work out good for the Christian.
Conclusion:

  • God is everywhere. 
  • God is with us during suffering.
  • Although the sufferings, atrocities and evil in this life may seem too immense, God is there!
  • Evil might hurt us or even kill us, but that cannot separate us from our all powerful God.
  • God will punish evil and will reward the righteous in the end.
  • No suffering or tragedy, no matter how big, can separate the Christian from God!
    • What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)
By Cliff Sabroe (Quotes from NASB95)