by Calven Celliers
This past week I was involved in a bumper bashing. Thankfully no one was injured , but my vehicle definitely came off second best. No doubt, every one of us have had our fair share of accidents in life. If not in a car, then perhaps we’ve injured ourselves, or at some point we’ve fallen down. Ironically, falling down is part of growing up.
As far as the record of history and the record of God’s Word goes, we as believers do not have any promise that we will escape suffering. In fact, in the Gospel of John Jesus made it quite clear that “33In this world you will have trouble.” (John16:33NIV)
As I contemplated this issue, I found myself reading an online article ‘The Reality of Accidents’ in which the author made the following four observations regarding the events of life and the categories they fall into.
- EVENTS WHICH GOD PLANS – These events have to happen because they are a part of God’s purpose, and they are predestined. They cannot not happen.
- EVENTS WHICH GOD PREVENTS – These are things that would have happened if God had not stepped into history and by His providence prevented.
- EVENTS WHICH GOD PROHIBITS – These are all the things that God forbids. These things do take place, however, because God has given man the freedom of choice. God does not will these events, nor does He prevent them.
- EVENTS WHICH GOD PERMITS – These are events which God has not planned, but neither has He prohibited, or prevented them. This is where we put accidents. Accidents are events which God did not plan to happen, nor did man choose to happen. They happen because of mistaken judgments, carelessness, and unawareness of the consequences of what is being done.
No matter how you look at it, the reality of life on this side of eternity is that there isn’t a human being alive on this planet who isn’t acquainted with troubles. The great comfort for all who believe, however, is found in Jesus follow up statement, “33In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33NIV)
Jesus doesn’t want us to be under any false illusion that life in this fallen world will be full of ease and comfort. Life is tough, accidents happen. The Bible, far from dodging this fact, acknowledges it and embraces it. Jesus himself guaranteed it. And instead of promising to eliminate trouble from our lives, Jesus instead promises to give peace and comfort in the midst of trouble. The finished work of Christ removes the teeth from suffering. By entering into our world and suffering alongside us, Jesus offers certain hope that transcends the temporal sorrow and suffering this world throws at us.
“17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17 & 18NIV)
There is much to be gained if we take these words to heart. They help us to remain faithful in our walk with the Lord, if our focus is more on the eternal than the temporary troubles of the present. Then we can more easily endure through whatever comes our way.
Keep on keeping on my friends.