The News You Never Expected To Hear: Allowing God To Walk
You Through The Devastation!
(Part Two of Two)
Facing devastation, tragedy, catastrophic situations of any kind, can be extremely difficult. But in the midst of heartache and pain, you can find the hope and courage to go on. With God’s help, and the encouragement found in the Bible, you will receive the necessary strength to overcome.
You may be thinking, I just do not believe that I can get through this. How will I be able to possibly face this devastation? This can trigger a series of emotions fear, depression, even feelings of despair.
Questions may inevitably begin racing through your mind. Why me God? God why has this happened to me? To my Family? Why at this time of our lives? God, will I die from this? Is there any possible way that we can recover from this grave set of circumstances? What will happen to my family if I do die? How will they be cared for?
Each one of these questions were honest questions that my wife Cathy and I had to ask during the early days of our hearing the news that we never thought that we would ever hear. As I said before, she never once complained about what God allowed to come into her life for her, her concern was always for me and the three children.
God Never does anything TO us; God Always did things FOR us
Cathy knew that God Never did anything TO us; God was Always doing things FOR us. She knew that God would have a clear purpose in allowing cancer to strike her body. She refused to resist and fight God. II Corinthians 4:8-9 was a great comfort to her. “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
Her faith was completely in the one that able to deliver her if it would His will, yet she had the attitude of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:20-21. “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” She wanted to live, as we all do. Yet she was focused on her eternal life with Jesus Christ. No, you could not threaten her with heaven!
You must focus on God’s Promises rather than Man’s Explanations
No one really knows why God has allowed this tragedy to enter into your life. Like Job’s friends some might say it is because of some sin that you are being punished for.
I have learned in my nearly 45 years of being a Christian that I cannot live by mere explanations, I must have Promises from God’s Word to comfort and encourage me as I pass through the deep waters of life. Explanations have little value by way of satisfying the soul, yet promises are what will sustain you you’re your darkest moments. Let us take note of some precious, yet very powerful promises from God’s Word.
1. You must understand that nothing takes God by surprise. He Sees and Understands Your Pain.
- Psalm 34:15: “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” If God’s eye is on the sparrow, He’s most certainly watching you, watching your every step, feeling your deep hurt, ready to walk you through the devastation.
- Isaiah 43:2-3 reminds us, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.”
2. You must understand that God invites you to pour out your heart and soul unto Him.
- Hebrews 4:16; “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” God invites you to approach Him boldly, or confidently. He promised that at his throne of Grace that he will provide you with the grace you need to help in your time of need.
- Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry , and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”
- Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
- Jeremiah 29:13: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
What wonderful and precious promises we have before us. As someone once said, “God’s Word provides a soft pillow for our troubled hearts.” You’re probably hurting so badly that all you really want to do is cry. And that’s okay! Even the Lord Jesus Christ wept when faced with the tragedy and sorrow of death (John 11:35). He was so deeply moved within because of the sorrow resulting from Lazarus’ death that He began to weep.
3. You must understand that while friends and family may Help, you must recognize that God is Your Real Hope. Psalm 73:26 reminds us, “My flesh and my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”
When you consider all that you are facing, ask yourself, “Is there anything too hard for God?” (Jeremiah 32:17). Absolutely nothing! No matter what is going on in your life, you can trust that He is in control, and is working everything out for your good (Romans 8:28).
When you wake up in the morning and wonder how you will face the day, God is working it out. When you wonder how you can get through and overcome this difficult time, God is working it out. And when you lay down at night, wondering how you will face the challenges of tomorrow, whatever they may be, God is already working it out. God knows intimately the concerns of your heart (Psalm 139:1-3), and can provide all the peace, strength, and courage you need. So don’t give up! Confidently hope in Him. Hope … and persevere!
You must focus on asking the Right Questions of God
1. God, how can I use these devastating circumstances to truly Glorify you? Matthew 5:16 exhorts us to, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” I Corinthians 10:31 states, “Whether therefore ye eat , or drink , or whatsoever ye do , do all to the glory of God.” This takes the focus off of us and places our focus where it rightly belongs, focusing on God.
2. God, what are you trying to teach me from this adversity?
3. God, how can I use this these upsetting circumstances to become a blessing to others? A song I often sing as I face dark dismal days is the hymn, “Others.”
Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.
4. God, are you trying to provide me with a new ministry? In 1939, Dr. Bill Rice and his wife Cathy had their baby girl, Betty, became gravely ill with spinal meningitis. Betty survived a close call but lost her hearing as a result of the high fever.
In the following years, Dr. Bill preached the gospel across the country, but even his own daughter could not hear it. The Rices were dismayed that they could find no one who could help them communicate the gospel to Betty. So, with the aid of pictures and a black board, Cathy Rice began to teach her daughter the Bible, beginning with the creation story and culminating with the gift of God’s Son.
God used Betty’s salvation to open their eyes to the great need of unreached deaf people across the country. The Lord convinced them that if they had a burden to reach deaf people, they should do something about it. They would reach out to the Deaf as they “did the work of an evangelist” in churches across the country.
This is a great example of allowing God to use your devastation for HIS glory. God does have His reasons for allowing adversity in our lives (Romans 8:28-29). Our role is to work with God rather than against his plan in our problems.
Many years ago a little girl was totally blind. She was blinded as an infant as the result of an accident. She lived to be over 90 years old. She became well-known in the American church. She wrote many popular Christian songs and choruses. Her name was Fanny Crosby. When she was only eight years old, she wrote:
Oh, what a happy child I am, although I cannot see.
I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t.
To weep and sigh because I’m blind–I cannot and I won’t.