Matthew 5:4 New International Version (NIV)
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
This morning there were 2 reports dominating the headlines on various national news programs. Both stories were very different but yet similar as they both ended in horrific tragedy.
The first news story told of a father and his young son who were at a Texas Ranger's baseball game. As one of the players on the field tossed a ball into the stands for the fans, the father attempted to catch the ball. As the father stretched out his arms and hands to make the catch, he lost his footing and fell 20 feet below landing on the hard concrete. His son watched as medical personal rushed to assist his dad. Unfortunately his father died while in route to the hospital.
The second news story told of a man in the city of Grand Rapids (Michigan) who used his gun to shoot people in 2 different homes. Between those 2 homes he killed 7 people. Next this man lead police on a high speed chase to another home where he held 3 people hostage. As the police hostage negotiator was trying to convince the man to surrender peacefully, the man suddenly shot himself. The man died and the hostages were unharmed. It remains unclear why the man did this as a statement given by the police indicate they do not have a motive for the shootings.
These are 2 very different stories but they each share a common thread in that each situation ended in unexplainable tragedy. How does a person find comfort while in the center of incredible grief? How does a person find comfort in GOD when they might question why HE would even allow such tragedy to happen? How does a person make sense out of a senseless tragedy?
My friends, even though studying the Bible gives us some insight as to the mind & heart of GOD, we will never fully understand why GOD allows such pain to exist in life. GOD in HIS word says the following . . .
Isaiah 55:8-11 New International Version (NIV)
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
While some Theologians & Bible Scholars will debate over Genesis 1:26-30 (which summarizes how GOD gave man dominion over the earth) vs Mark 11:24 (when JESUS says GOD will answer what we believe in prayer), this debate does not give any comfort to the boy who lost his father, or those families who lost their loved ones in the tragic shooting (including the family of the gunman).
My friends, GOD is the only one who knows why these (and other) painful events happened as they did. They make no sense to us. However we must not lose sight of GOD's compassion and love for us. As painful and difficult as it is to accept the tragedies of life, we must trust GOD and continue to rely on HIM. GOD is a GOD of love and comfort. HE is a GOD of truth and justice. So then how does one find comfort when life does not make sense? By accepting and allowing JESUS CHRIST to be our advocate. Although we can pray to GOD directly, there are times when we must take our burdens to JESUS and allow HIM to go to our FATHER on our behalf.
Luke 22:31-32 New International Version (NIV)
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Notice that JESUS says in verse 32, "I have prayed for you". The devil will use tragedy in an effort to separate us from GOD and destroy us. But JESUS prays on our behalf that we maintain our faith. And notice what else JESUS says in verse 32, "and when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." When JESUS says, "and when you have turned back" HE is acknowledging the fact that certain things in life will hit us so hard it will cause us to doubt GOD. However our faith will bring us back to trusting GOD, and when that happens we must then go help others who are suffering as we did. Sharing the testimony of how GOD brought us through our situation will encourage others to hold onto their faith.
My friends, when senseless things happen, we must go to the one who makes sense out of the senseless. We must go to GOD through JESUS CHRIST. Trust, rely on, and believe that GOD will give you the peace, love, strength, and compassion to see you through life's difficult moments.
I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."
If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in JESUS name, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.
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GOD bless you!