Yesterday a tragedy fell upon two of my neighbors. They were family and live a few houses down from each other. It was the kind of tragedy no family is ever prepared for (Suicide). I had the opportunity to visit with them… and noticed some things worthy of reflection.
Both families were believers and what I saw was powerful. They were sorrowful yet rejoicing. They had many believing friends coming and going… crying, laughing, and praying with them. They were open to hearing Gospel encouragement from a neighbor they barely knew (Me, by invitation). Even though their tragedy took place in the worst of locations and was the worst of events, there was a visible… audible… and credible sense of peace. Though the situation they were enduring had no explanations or answers, it was enough that they knew God was with them.
Now for a few reflections:
None of us ever knows when an unexpected tragedy will invade our life… so we much stay ready.
If God is not sufficient for us in the midst of these great tragedies… then He is not God.
In the midst of our world crumbling around us… the only sufficient comfort and hope in in God through Jesus and The Spirit
The greatest witness to the all sufficiency of Christ is in the midst of tragedy. Consider 2 Cor 12:8-10
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Now either what Paul wrote is true or it isn’t. Being a Christian does NOT keep evil things from happening to you… BUT, God has given many great promises regarding these situations. Reflect upon the following passages…
John 10:10 I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Matt 8:24 There arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Jude 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
2 Cor 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
Phil 4:6 Let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Rom 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.