Blame Him Or Thank Him?
No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
This is the story of two people and their two different approaches to tragedy.
Susan was broken-hearted. She had just lost her first child at birth. The trauma of that experience had affected her relationship with her husband and with everyone else around her. She had become cynical and moody. She blamed God for what had happened and said, "I hate Him. Why would this happen to me? Where was God when I was going through the birth pangs, the excruciating pain of giving birth to a stillborn child? Why didn't He give me a healthy baby?"
We do not understand the mystery of why God allows certain tragedies, heartaches and sorrows, but we do know that those who trust the eternal God as their refuge will experience the reality of His promise, "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27, NIV).
By contrast, sometime later I talked with a godly Christian whose son had just taken his own life. Of course, this man and his wife were devastated. Their hearts were broken. But what a difference there was in their reaction. Even through his tears, this dear follower of Jesus was saying, "I know I can trust God. He is a loving Savior. He is my refuge, and I feel His strength and compassion and care for me and my loved ones. My wife and I and all of our family are rededicating ourselves to Him as an expression of our love and confidence in His trustworthiness."
It may not always be easy to do and it may go against our fleshly nature, but it is important to follow the Holy Spirit's exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (NIV). God does not say in some circumstances, or in most circumstances, or only in the pleasant circumstances, but in ALL circumstances.
God is not the author of tragedy. We live in a sin-sick, devil-infested world. Tragedy comes to believers and non-believers alike. But when it does come, God is always there to comfort and to work out everything for our long-term good according to Romans 8:28.
No matter what happens, let us thank and praise Him.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.