Bible Reading for: September 5
What is the purpose of tragedy in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ? Is there a purpose? There can be if your faith is about more than just yourself.
I was struck by a phrase that was repeated frequently in today’s reading which was recited after prophesy of a coming disaster; “Then they will know that I am the Lord”. What is the purpose of tragedy in our life? Is there a purpose? As you’ve heard me say before, sometimes bad things happen because we live in a fallen world, but other times bad things happen because God has something to teach us.
The thing is, we usually associate trouble in our own life as meaningless or the result of our own need to be disciplined, but what if God allowed something bad to happen to us, not as a lesson for us, but as a lesson for others? Can you imagine such a thing? Here you are a faithful servant of God, and He allows something bad to happen to you so He can make a point to the Lost? We see an example of this in today’s reading.
Ezekiel 24:15-18 ESV
“The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down. Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban, and put your shoes on your feet; do not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.” So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did as I was commanded.”
Why did God take the wife of this Godly man?
Ezekiel 25:25-27 ESV
“As for you, son of man, surely on the day when I take from them their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes and their soul’s desire, and also their sons and daughters, on that day a fugitive will come to you to report to you the news. On that day your mouth will be opened to the fugitive, and you shall speak and be no longer mute. So you will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the Lord.”
God took this man’s wife so he could be an example to the Lost. Seems a bit harsh, doesn’t it? It does, if your salvation is all about you. If your relationship with God is based solely on what He can do for you, then something like this would wreck your faith wouldn’t it? Is that why you turned your life over to Christ, so He would make life easy and comfortable for you? Was it so you wouldn’t face trouble in your life? If so you’ve made a mistake.
Submitting your life to Christ means that you are His servant, to be used by Him as He sees fit for eternal purposes that will often remain a mystery to you. Is the most important thing life here in this fallen world, or eternity with God? If God takes my wife home to Him, I will miss her and it will hurt, but she will be with Him, and since I love her, I would not want her to remain with me just to keep me happy. How could I begrudge her the happiness one finds only in the presence of God?
For those who belong to Christ, our tragedies serve a purpose. How we respond to those tragedies will be a lesson to the Lost. What will your response to tragedy teach the Lost? It is something worth considering, don’t you think?
Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!