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When Bad Things Happen

God has obviously not promised us an exemption from the bad things that happen to people in this world. As Christians we are saved from the coming wrath of God, but for now in God’s providence we are variously exposed to the painful and tragic events that plague mankind. This, of course, was God’s promise in Genesis 3 to all the inhabitants of earth. The painful thorns and the death of loved ones are the fidelity of God to his own word. The good news is that God’s special care and planning for his redeemed people is always presented to us in Scripture as exacting and precise. As Job learned, there is not a tragedy that befalls us that has not been carefully measured and governed by God’s active involvement. We can be sure that every “crisis” we face is right on schedule. The next “shocking emergency” was clearly no surprise to God. We can be sure that our pain or surprise is not indicative of an inactive or inattentive Father. So with Paul we can confidently say that God’s grace is always sufficient for the painful trials he has decreed for us in his wisdom (2 Corinthians 12:9). While these truths are presented to us in Scripture to be a comfort and to provide perspective, the greatest comfort and perspective is the one we gain by contemplating the consummation of all things. One day this pain-filled interlude will be over and the Alpha and Omega will say: “Now the dwelling of God is with men… there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).

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  1. AMEN! With all that the world is going through these days, it’s hard for us to remain focused on the Light. My husband recently requested that I listen less to the world news so that I can more easily find rest. It’s too easy to rely on the news for our understanding, and then forget about the Author of it all. So the Holy Spirit has led me in the Bible to the sermon on the mount, and there I’ve found nourishment and courage, from the Lord’s lips to my heart. Perhaps my favorite sermon series on what we are going through in this world is from 2011, God’s Expatriates. It helped me to better understand the sovereignty of God’s character. These days I look for what God is doing and what my role is in His plan. Ask yourself, what is God showing us? And then ask, what, Lord, would You have me do? It seems that we’ve set God aside and requested, and received, the most liberal, godless characteristics of man in the positions of leadership (govt.) in this country. Reminds me of Saul. What are we to see and understand from our “demands”? These are the things I ponder and pray about. But most of all, I am learning to trust God for His ways are omniscient.

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