Mt. Zion Bus Crash, Tuesday,
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
Monday we committed to addressing a number of issues in these five posts. Each day we will link to the previous posts:
• The Big Picture
• Why did this happen?
• When can this be prevented?
• What should I pray now?
• How can I trust God again?
Before I move forward I have been reminded that some of you will look at this series of posts with various emotions, and not all good. Let me be perfectly clear. My ONLY goal here is to impact your hope in your prayer-life. But please note, I do not mean “hope” as we see it talked about today, I mean “hope” the way the Bible refers to it, a “sure-hope” (Hebrews 6:19).
You will have to tell me if your “hope” is strengthened or weakened by these posts.
Here are the issues we left you with on Monday, that we will address today. . .
Why Did This Happen?
Some would argue that bad things happen when there is unconfessed sin in people’s lives. Which leads to the question of whether or not God BRINGS BAD things into people’s lives. Since He’s a “good” God He merely ALLOWS bad things, right? What does His “ways being higher than our ways” mean to us? And then, does God owe us an explanation? Which begs the question, what is going to happen to my “faith” in light of this kind of tragedy?
If you do not want to read the rest of this post, here is the simple answer, “I don’t know why this happened!” But in the next few paragraphs . . .
I Will Share With You What I Do Know:
Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.” In a nutshell, DO NOT rely upon people’s explanations to strengthen your faith. Search the word of God, as good Bereans (Acts 17:11) and hold fast to that which is true, jettisoning all that is false. This is no small matter, for it is our faith which overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). Your faith will be strengthened as you follow Scripture, not someone’s words. So again, view my words ONLY from the standpoint of the truth of God’s Word, which means CHECK what I say with the Word of God.
Bad Things Only Happen to Bad People:
Do bad things only happen when you have unconfessed sin in your life? We have all heard this stated in one form or another by some televangelists and teachers of the Word. Have you ever wondered why they teach this? I believe that there is only one reason for this, it is because those who want you to think this way are trying to offer you a “hope” by telling you that THEY have the answer. My friends they have a “hope” alright, a false hope. They are trying to give you a formula to keep difficulties from you, or to get rid of them when they are upon you.
In other words, if you caused the difficulty, then you can jettison it, and they have helped you. Forgive me, but they are merely telling us what our itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3). Namely, how to get rid of the difficulty in our lives.
This brings up another misunderstood principle in Scripture, and that is that a “good God” doesn’t bring difficulties into our life. He may allow them, but he never BRINGS them.
Often when I speak I ask a simple question, “Does God BRING difficulties into your life or merely ALLOW them?” And in EVERY situation, the greater number of people ALWAYS say that God DOES NOT BRING difficulties, only allows them.
Let’s Deal with God Bringing Difficulties:
In John 15:2 we are told that that God cuts off branches that bear no fruit, but consider the rest of the verse. Jesus is saying that the Father ALSO PRUNES those branches that DO BEAR fruit. Why? So that they can bear more fruit. Have you ever been pruned? Was it easy, nice, painless? Well my friend, it was from God.
In John 9:2 Jesus is asked, “Who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” And you remember His answer,” NEITHER of them! This man was born blind that the Father might be glorified.” Now before you argue that this does not prove that God caused the blindness, help me reconcile David saying that God knitted him together in his mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).
I realize that the two examples above may not be enough for you to say, “Okay, sometimes God DOES bring difficulties.” So let me make two comments:
- I’m GLAD that difficulties come from God, because I can trust Him, I think.
- Let me ask you, “Has God’s character ever changed?”
Of course His character does not change, He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). So if that’s true and His character does not change, then look soberly and seriously at these verses:
- Deuteronomy 30:1, God set before them blessings and curses
- Psalm 51:8, David asks God for relief from the bones that He has crushed
- Proverbs 16:4, God prepared everything for His purposes, even the wicked
- Lamentations 3:31-33, God caused suffering and brought affliction, even though He doesn’t like to
- Isaiah 42:24, God says that He gave robbers and plunderers to ransack His chosen people
- Hosea 13:8-9, God says He will attack, devour and destroy His chosen people
- Haggai 1:9m, 11, 2:17, God ruined the crops
My friends, there are a ton of these verses. I have many of them written in my Bible right next to 2 Chronicles 7:13. That isn’t an error. I did say verse 13, NOT verse 14. I know that you know verse 14, but have you ever read verse 13? God is speaking and He says basically,
- If I, meaning when I impact your income,
- If I meaning, when I bring natural disasters, and
- If I, meaning when I bring illnesses.
Here’s my point my friends, God often brings difficulties. And God allows difficulties. Now I’m not smart enough to know when it is brought by Him or allowed by Him. But the point is clear, He is in control. When difficulties come my way, He brought/allowed it, NOT the evil one! And that is critical to understand because God I can trust, sataN, I can’t. If he would lie to the Savior during Christ’s temptations in the desert, you know that the devil will lie to you and I.
So you might be saying, Mark, all of those verses were from the Old Testament. Didn’t things change in the New? Well, not His character, right? But just to be fair, let me share the following verses:
- Matthew 10:16ff, Jesus is telling us that they WILL persecute us, as they persecuted Him. Lest you argue that this is not an admission that God brings the persecution, I am speaking to my positive confession brothers and sisters and I would argue that the One who should have known everything about positive and negative confession just negatively confessed persecution onto us all.
- Philippians 1:13, 29-30 Paul’s imprisonment is in the cause of Christ and on His behalf
- 1 Peter 2:21, We are called to suffer
- 1 Peter 4:12, Peter chides us for being surprised that we’re going through fiery ordeals
- 1 Peter 4:17, Who brings judgment? God right? And what He says here is that judgment will begin with the house of the Lord
Here’s the last point to be made and it comes from Isaiah 55:8-9 where God tells us, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
I have no idea why God does the things He does and to say that I should be able to know, or to get my brain around would be sheer arrogance.
Summing Up What We Know:
- Faith overcomes the world, but in all honesty, I need to see what else is written on this subject before I have re-strengthened faith.
- God brings and allows difficulties, which is comforting to me, because I can trust Him that all things are working out for the better. . . (Romans 8:28).
- Finally, God is God and I am not. Even David in Psalm 145:3 said that God’s greatness is unsearchable which tells me that I will spend all of eternity learning more about Him.
Tomorrow we will look into the satanic and godly struggle here on earth. And there are two reasons for this:
- The evil one is called “the god of this world,” and
- Because clearly something went wrong, which caused the bus crash, right?