MEANT FOR EVIL, GOD WILL USE IT FOR GOOD
Unless you have been out of the country or have been in total seclusion we each know what happened this past week in Uvalde, Texas.
And one thing that came to my mind immediately, and I don’t mean to be depressing or discouraging, but my intent is to remind you of what God has told us and what the event in Uvalde confirms to us and that is: no one has a guarantee of tomorrow.
And it doesn’t have to be a mass casualty situation; it can be an accident; or a health issue; or even the “return of our Lord”; but the reality is, none of us has the assurance of tomorrow.
If I read my Bible right, if tomorrow doesn’t come for you or I, there are only two possibilities (heaven – 1 Peter 1:4) and (eternal punishment – Matthew 25:46) those are the only two possibilities and whichever it will be all depends on what you/I have done with Jesus.
Now, one of the things that has happened since Tuesday is a lot of finger pointing: “Whose fault is it?”
Let me ask you this and think carefully before you answer: Did God create this world?
This world that we live in today is not the world that God created. The world that God created, you can read about it in Genesis chapters 1-2.
But then the “serpent” came along and deceived the woman and the man and they sinned against God and everything changed.
And so, because of the “serpents” deception; and because of man’s rebellion and his propensity to sin the world that God created was cursed; man was driven from the garden; and paradise was lost.
And for you or I or anyone else to blame that on God and turn away from and abandon God because of what “the serpent” did; and because of what a rebellious and sinful man did, is to do just exactly what “the serpent” wants us to do.
Paradise was lost a long time ago but it is only because of God and His grace and mercy and love that any of us can find that paradise again.
Now, some will ask, “Why does God allow these kinds of things to happen?” Why doesn’t God stop it?”
Remember in Job 1, Satan accused God of building a “hedge” around Job and protecting him.
So God does. He allows Satan “to put his hand on Job” and Job loses his sons and his daughters, and his livestock; and eventually Job is plagued with “sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.”
God allows Job to suffer severely all for the purpose of proving Job’s devotion and faithfulness to God.
And you read basically the same thing in James 1; and God allows trials and tribulations to come up in our lives so that, just like Job, we can prove our faithfulness too.
Second reason why God allows tragedies to come into our lives is found in Luke 13:1-5.
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And He answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered this fate? 3 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 “Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
God often allows tragic events to get people to realize their spiritual situation; their need to repent and turn to Him; so that they will not perish.
Third reason why God allows tragedies to come into our lives is found in Romans 8:20-21. The apostle Paul says, “20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope (this is God’s hope) 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
These tragic events, large or small, are horrible and we can only imagine the heartbreak and pain that goes with them.
Now, what about the children? 19 children were killed. Is there any consolation? Any comfort for those who have lost a child? Look at Mark 10:13-16.
And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all.” 16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands upon them.
We grieve over the children who were killed and most of us cannot imagine what that would be like as a parent.
But we should not turn away from God when tragedy strikes because it is God alone who gives hope, and comfort, and assures us that those children will be in His kingdom.
So, as we deal with the news of a horrible tragedy, as God’s people, what do we do?
There are many verses that we could turn to but there are two that come to mind. Look with me at Matthew 5:13. Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth;”
Our world is not going to get better.
But until that time comes we can slow down the decaying process.
And look at vs. 14: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Tragic events often turn an individual’s world completely dark.
What took place last Tuesday in Uvalde was nothing but pure evil. It has devastated many families; an entire community; and shattered lives for many years to come.