Wed Night April 17, 2013 – “Tragedy”

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Wed Night April 17, 2013 – “Tragedy”

In the aftershock of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing, many of you have asked questions with a general theme of “why?”.  By late Tuesday night, it became clear that God was leading me in another direction from what I had originally planned for the Wed night meeting.  Listed below are the videos, music, excerpts of text, and the scripture verses we talked about for reference.

I kept the comedy short…only one video, but it was too funny not to open with.

“How Animals Eat Their Food”

 

We talked about the true story of Danny who drowned while swimming in a quarry with friends in July of 2006.  His story is shared with the world with the parents’ permission in the hopes that the sobering lessons that spring from this tragic account will help all who hear. Unlike teens in the world, Danny was not a troublemaker or a sullen youth who scoffed at attending Church services—he was not a “outcast” who went out of his way to “live on the edge,” rather than live within the guiding confines of God’s Law. Even at a young age Danny was already setting a good example of the Way of God.

God warns that time and chance happen to everyone, even to those in His Church.

“Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.”  -Ecc 9:11

There are many examples of this in the Bible. Consider these:

  • God gave up His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to undergo a brutal and horrific death—a penalty of pain and suffering He did not earn.
  • God allowed Joseph to be sold into slavery and later thrown into prison—again through no fault of Joseph’s.
  • For years God allowed David to live on the run, pursued by King Saul, to whom he was loyal.
  • He let the apostle Paul, one of the most zealous servants of God of all time, endure all kinds of difficulties, including his eventual execution.

In His Church down through the years, God has allowed tragedies, setbacks and life-changing accidents to affect His people, from the oldest to the youngest.  From the pew sitter, to Pastors.  Everyone.

Watch the video – “Holding on to God in the face of tragedy”.  On December 20, 2012, Lenya Avery Lusko went home to be with the Lord in heaven after a severe asthma attack.

Pastor Levi Lusko and his powerful example of trusting and believing that God is good no matter what tragedy is going on in your life.  For those willing to learn from them, tragedies bring sobering lessons. They are a powerful reminder that life—this physical existence—is temporary.

King David was inspired to record, “For [God] knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more” (Psa. 103:14).

Yet in this temporary existence, God wants us to enjoy the good things of life. Notice Jesus Christ’s words:

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

However, the world has been deceived by the “god of this world” Satan, (II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 12:9) to pursue “the good life” on their own terms.  When we are focused only on the “here and now” and physical things, our lives are left empty, meaningless and without purpose.

Ecclesiastes 2 records that King Solomon dedicated a portion of his life to indulging in every whim and desire that appealed to his five senses. “And whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them, I

withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my portion of all my labor,” he wrote (vs. 10).

And what did Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, conclude? That every physical desire he had indulged in was

“vanity”—empty, meaningless—and “vexation of spirit” (vs. 11).

Solomon discovered that chasing after the so called “good life” and all its physical pleasures is ultimately unfulfilling. Lacking the personal guidance of God, such lives are aimless.  Yes, God desires for all people to experience the “abundant life.” But that can only be done through living within the confines of His Law and way of life, which are

“perfect,” “sure,” “pure,” “clean,”“true” and “righteous” (Psa. 19:7-9). “More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is your servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (vs. 10-11).

Tragedies like Boston, Sandy Hook, or the tragedies, heartaches and trials we’ve faced as a church family will remind us how short and fleeting human life is, and how important it is to look beyond this temporary human existence.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow.

Carly’s Story | In Christ Alone | September 30th, 2012 from Resurrection Life Church Rockf on Vimeo.

God’s Word states,

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecc. 3:1). People are born, and people die; they plant, and they harvest (vs. 2). They take time to grieve and weep, and time to laugh, dance and enjoy life (vs. 4).

Everything has a time and place.  In understanding and accepting this, there is both good and bad news. The good news is that when you are undergoing trials, troubles and suffering, they will be replaced by good times. The bad news is that when you are experiencing times of joy and celebration, bad times are ahead.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 states, “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also has set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.”

Do not take life for granted. Appreciate and be grateful for what God has given you: the precious understanding of His truth, an opportunity for eternal life, potential ruler ship in the world tomorrow, and more.

I included this short video clip as an example of a conversation I had earlier in the week with one of your fellow students.  It followed almost exactly with what I had told this student and was the reason I decided to change directions and speak on this topic this Wednesday instead of what I had originally planned.  It was a response to the evil and tragedy that befell Sandy Hook Elementary this past December.

Understanding the Church’s Role in the Face of Tragedy from Elevation Media on Vimeo.

So, when the “day of adversity” comes—when severe trials and dramatic, life-changing events come to your life—stop and consider. Though painful, people learn far more from setbacks and defeat than from successes. Trials are sobering, and they can remind us that this life is passing, fleeting. Even Christ learned and grew through suffering.

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.  Heb. 5:8

Learn from trials, tragedies and setbacks. Do not allow yourself to assume that “accidents only happen to other people.”  Think beyond the “here and now.”  Avoid making rash and reckless decisions that will leave scars—both physical and emotional—that will not fade away.  Make good choices; think a matter through before taking action. Sometimes simply stopping to think about the possible consequences of a decision can prevent a tragedy. Therefore, heed Proverbs 22:3:

A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.  The MSG

Remember, God has a plan and a purpose for your life that includes your being molded and shaped by the tragedies that befall you in this dark and sinful world.  I leave you with the simple truth via a song by Elevation Worship entitled “Nothing is Wasted”.  Nothing is wasted…not even the tragedies.  God, You work all things for good.  Here are the lyrics:

You know my every need
You see my poverty
You are enough for me, Jesus
You gave the blind their sight
You raised the dead to life
You’ve done the same for me, Jesus

You are loving, You are wise
There is nothing in my life You cannot revive
You are loving, You are wise
There is nothing too hard for our God

Your word inside of me
My strength, my everything
My hope will always be Jesus
Your breath inside my lungs
You’re worthy of my trust
You will forever be Jesus

You are loving, You are wise
There is nothing in my life You cannot revive
You are loving, You are wise
There is nothing too hard for our God

Nothing is wasted
You work all things for good
Nothing is wasted
Your promise remains
Forever You reign
[x2]

Your promise remains
Forever You reign

You are loving, You are wise
There is nothing in my life You cannot revive
You are loving, You are wise
There is nothing too hard for our God

Nothing is wasted
You work all things for good
Nothing is wasted
Your promise remains
Forever You reign

Your promise remains
Forever You reign
Your promise remains
Forever You reign

Here are a few other fantastic video clips that I didn’t use, but are powerful stories in themselves…to powerful not to share.

A Story | Tears of Hope from Adam Kring on Vimeo.

Eliot was born with an undeveloped lung, a heart with a hole in it and DNA that placed faulty information into each and every cell of his body. However, that could not stop the living God from proclaiming Himself through this boy who never uttered a word.
In the midst of heartbreaking tragedy, the Mooney family found the presence of God strengthening, comforting, and guiding them. Their story reminds us to seek God and endure our struggles rather than blame Him for our hardships.

99 Balloons from Igniter Media on Vimeo.

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