Saturday, August 4, 2012

Prepared for the Worst

by Todd Friel

The drought, the Aurora shootings and the economy have many asking, “Where are you God?” The Bible answers that question in what I like to call the 2-2-2 Principle.
God is running the world two ways. He either causes or allows events to happen. If it is “natural” or good, then God gets credit. If an event is sinful or wicked, than man gets credit. God hates evil, but He uses our sin sinlessly to accomplish a greater good.
Two Kinds of People
God classifies only two types of people on the planet, the saved and the un-saved. God is sending only two messages to each group.
The Un-saved
Through calamity, struggle, hardship and pain, God is sending two messages:
1.       I am now punishing you for your sins. “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness (Romans 1:18).
2.       When Jesus was asked about two national tragedies in Luke 13, He interpreted the tragedy for His hearers, “Repent unless you likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5) In a tragedy, God is preaching, “Repent!” to the unsaved.
His Children
God is trying to teach Christians one of two things (or both) in a tragedy.
1.      Discipline. “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.
2.       God is preparing you for the future. He is either using your struggle to equip you for future work, or He is using pain to make you heavenly minded (Romans 5:3,4).
Please have your theologies of suffering, sovereignty and the doctrine of providence firmly in place before anything bad befalls you. It won’t take the pain away, but it will help you cope with it and find the good in it.