The Bible is filled with wonderful promises of hope and salvation. It is also full of stories of tragedy and misfortune. Turns out the people in its pages are not so very different from you and me! So take a lesson from them and remember:
You may never know why tragedy strikes.
Job was “perfect and upright.” He feared God and turned from evil (Job 1:1). Yet disaster struck; he lost his wealth, his children and even his health. Although Job kept asking God why, his misfortune never received the divine explanation Job was hoping for.
Job’s friends were sure Job must have brought his misfortunes on himself by sinning (Job 4:8), but they were wrong. God condemned their simplistic condemnation of his servant (Job 42:7). One thing is certain: “Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). Do not be quick to blame yourself or others when something seems to go wrong. Often there are no easy answers.
God is able to bring good out of every situation.
Stephen was one of the outstanding figures in the early church, “full of faith and the Holy Ghost” (Acts 6:5,8). Yet he was stoned to death because of his Christian witness. A leader of his persecution was a young man named Saul (Acts 7:58; 8:1-3), who soon afterward was confronted by the risen Christ and became known as the great Apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-6, 22).
Evidently, Stephen’s courageous death was the catalyst that challenged Paul’s outlook and prepared the way for his conversion.
God’s hand is in all that happens.
Joseph was mistreated by his brothers and sold into slavery (Genesis 37). Years later, when famine forced them to come to Egypt for grain, they found their own brother in charge of everything. Joseph told them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).
Although “wicked hands” crucified Christ, it was part of God’s plan for infinite good (Acts 2:23). You can be certain that “All things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).
Be confident that, with God’s help, you can handle any problem.
God made you in his own image. You have the intelligence and skills and mental, physical and spiritual resources either to solve your problem or to endure it while it lasts. You can say with the Apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
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