North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Life can bring heartaches that trouble us. I’ve seen some people so grief stricken that they admitted to hating God. The tragedies we face can cut us deep and problems can cause us to feel hopeless. Some difficulties and loss can be so terrible that it drives people to cry the questions: “Why did you let me be born in the first place? Why?” No matter what your age, we’re not exempt from death, heartaches, and suffering. It takes courage to go through these times of testing.
There’s an old Indian proverb which says: “The deeper your sorrow carves its way into our beings, the more joy we can contain”. Some sorrow enables us to think joy will never come to see us again. It’s a fact; sorrow will come to us all sooner or later in one form or another. This isn’t being pessimistic. This isn’t negative thinking. It’s simply the facts as they are. No one has been excused from physical death in this life and if we love anyone, anywhere, we’re going to eventually know grief when that person dies.
Jesus knows grief. When he found out his dear friend Lazarus had died, the Bible says, “Jesus wept.” Grief and the circumstances that cause it will visit you sooner or later. This is because life is like a roller coaster—exciting, scary, up and down. There’s no need to lie awake at night waiting for trouble to strike. There’s something much better you need to be doing—Get prepared for it!
While serving as a youth pastor in Alabama many years ago one of our teenagers was killed in a car accident after leaving a church function. It was a sudden loss and left many of our youth in shock. But there was one particular young lady who determined that she was going to thank God her friend was saved and loved God. She walked through the tragedy with Christ and took Jesus at his word when he said he had already prepared a place for her good friend in Heaven (John 10:10).
When you say you believe in something it means you should act like you believe it. This young teenager’s confident belief in what Christ had said prepared her for the tragedy that rocked her world. Let’s be clear, evil is in the world and bad things will happen sometimes. So, get ready! Be prepared to face difficulties and heartaches. Choose to accept them if and when they come. Don’t fight it or get angry at God. Rather cry out to Him and let Him help you walk through the difficulties.
A person that doesn’t know Christ as their Savior will not understand the comfort that can come from God in tragic occurrences. For example, a couple months ago I attended the funeral of a young girl in Mississippi. The church was packed! She had been shot by an ex-boyfriend because she broke up with him and he didn’t like it. One of her friends came into the church during the service and sat down. As the pastor stood and started talking about God being the Great Comforter in times of sorrow, this young man became agitated. He ran to the front, fell down on the floor and started shouting and kicking the pews. He reached for a hymnal and it looked as though he was going to throw it at the minister! He had to be restrained by the ushers and taken from the service.
We must all catch the fact that God has something very definite and practical to say in suffering. Although, we may not understand on this earth why some particular thing happened as it did, God does have an answer. God holds the solution to your grief.
If God is love, why does He let terrible things happen to people we love? This is a deep question and one in which I can’t answer completely. No one can. But knowing the character and Heart of God, as revealed in His Son Jesus Christ, He allowed Christ to die on a cruel Cross to save us. God knows about tragedy and the purpose of them have an end that will in some way cause us to consider our relationship with Him.
God has a permissive will which permits sin to happen; it started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. There are many things too deep for our understanding. God is all-powerful. So, why did He permit sin to enter the world in the first place? It’s hard to understand. Perhaps He allowed sin so we could choose Him or choose sin. He has given us a will to choose. He has given us the liberty to choose or reject His Son Jesus as the one and only person who can save us from sin. God doesn’t protect us from sin or make us immune to it, but He offers a way to deal with it.
Next week, I’ll share with you the second part of this very timely message of hope. Until then, find a friend and church family that can love you through whatever is causing your heart to be sorrowful and afraid. And never forget, God loves YOU like no one else can!
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Oct 12 2014. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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