How Do We View Tragedy?

Do I sometimes think that I am being punished by God.

Well no, not really, I do believe that God provides us with personal challenges in life and how we react to those challenges is judged by God alone.

All this week locally we have been faced with many questions about how we can continue with all that we have personally faced.

A few years ago, here in Jackson, we had the flood waters and the loss of two young and promising students in Sam Bomar and Tavarious Ingram. So many have asked why did God do this, how could all this happen? How can we ever recover from all that has happened? Of course we are not alone when it comes to tragedy.

I am reminded of two stories in the bible where man is left to struggle with what appear to be odds of insurmountable nature.

In 1 Kings 18:36-37 Elijah is up against something big; he is confronting 450 prophets of the god Baal who much of his culture worships. It’s a showdown. A sacrifice has been laid on the altar on Mt. Carmel and Elijah lays down a challenge “Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again”. “Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.”

While Elijah’s challenge seemed impossible in our terms, it is quite possible in God’s.

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous…” It didn’t say, “Many are the afflictions of the sinner.”

NO! Even the righteous may undergo many trials–ask Job!

Job is a particularly enlightening book in the Bible. He was selected as a subject of a stern test of faith, because he was, at that time, the most faithful man alive. God declared that Job’s faith was real faith. Satan claimed that Job’s faith was fickle faith. Job lost everything but his faith.

Troubles and afflictions are a normal part of life, but we don’t have to be defeated by them. Someone said the longer you look at a hill the bigger it gets and the greater the effort to climb it. But our God, when we look at him, he also grows in size and stature. I guess when it comes to most of us, we are just looking at the wrong thing.

%d bloggers like this: