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Be the Gospel

Posted by DeVonna , 17 May 2017 · 273 views

I have a friend whose son served recently on yet another tour in Afghanistan in the American military. One day she received an email from her soldier-son, where he lamented the pitiful things he had witnessed: the suffering of innocents, the death, the chaos. “Where is God in all this?” he grieved. I counseled her, “Tell him God is there in your son’s anguish over the situation.”

 

Sometimes we forget, if we are grieved by the dire condition of this fallen world, how must the Lord Himself must be effected. It is a mistake for us to think that because we are helpless in our circumstances, that He is too. God is not the author of the sufferings of this world, He is the author of the cure. John 3:16, “God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son,”…
Do we really think we care more than He does? Our finite minds cannot sometimes comprehend or conceive an answer to this world's suffering, but remember, we are here as Christ’s representatives. This is a situation, an opportunity if you will, for us to BE the gospel to someone else who is similarly affected by life’s uncertainties, but who doesn’t know Christ.

 

2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” The heart of sympathy that we feel for the sufferings of others is evidence of God in us.
Matthew 5:16 says, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

There is an old saying among Christian circles, “We may be the only Gospel others ever read.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5,” because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.” Be unshakeable. Choose to believe in the goodness and love of God in the face of gross inequity, because its’ not enough to TELL others about the Gospel, it is important that we BE the Gospel before them. BE compassion. BE love. BE righteousness. BE truth. BE hope.

 

Peace.



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Debbi Meyer
Aug 02 2017 01:10 PM

Are you saying that as this young man grieves over the atrocities around him that he will be communicating the gospel to those around him by his grief? 

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Good question Debbi, I'm afraid I may not have made myself clear. I was encouraging my friend to help her son take comfort in God's love and care. Too often God gets the blame in tragic circumstances when really He is the only One who can help us during those times.

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Debbi Meyer
Aug 08 2017 04:36 PM

Hi DeVonna,

 

Thanks for the follow-up reply.  I guessed that you were thinking about a passage like Genesis 6:5-6:  

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” 

 

I've been thinking about your friend's son, what those tours in Afghanistan must be like, the problem of evil, and how difficult that must be.  My mind races with so many different thoughts and Scriptures.  (I have prayed for him too.)

 

A passage of Scripture that I have been fascinated by is Luke 13:1-5 (NASB):

 

“Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him [Jesus] about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had shed along with their sacrifices.

And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?

I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?  

I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’”

 

The first scenario appears to be an incident of Galileans who, in the middle of their worship service, were killed by Romans soldiers.  Then Jesus brings up another example – a tower falling on some folks and killing them.  I heard these two incidents categorized as: 1) evil in the world, and 2) natural disasters.

 

Jesus’ response is interesting:  ~This did not happen to them because they were worse sinners, “…but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”  R.C. Sproul said of this passage as best I recall in part, ~You would think that Jesus would feel sorry that these things happen, but rather He says, ~ ”Learn from this!”

 

Jesus always had the big picture in mind.  Judgement Day is coming.  I heard another pastor recently teaching on this passage and he pointed out that Jesus didn’t mean that if they didn’t repent, that they would be run through with a sword or that a tower would fall on their heads, but that God’s judgement will come and it will come swiftly and be devastating for the unrepentant who do not trust Christ for salvation.  There is suffering here in this life, but it does not compare to the lake of fire that burns forever. (It also makes me think of Luke 12:4-5: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.  But I will show you whom you should fear:  Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell.  Yes, I tell you, fear Him.’”)

 

I’ve never been in a war zone, but I have heard reports of such vicious and vile things that all I can do is fall back on the fact that God will deal with it some day in justice.  No one is getting away with anything.  And, as you pointed out, God will be with this young man in the midst of fire, flood, and arrows, and he will not be overwhelmed as he clings to God - his Rock, Refuge and Hiding Place.  (Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 91; Psalm 62:1-2, etc.)

 

Jesus also said, “’I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33 NIV).

 

Glad you were able to provide some encouragement for your friend to pass along to her son (and that you got me thinking!). :-)  Blessings to you.

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