Tragedy to Triumph

As we all know, Japan has just undergone a huge tragedy and is still suffering from the repercussions. Many lives and livelihoods have been lost.  In the days ahead there will be continued clean up, grief, and heartbreak. What a tragedy! I know our hearts and prayers go out continually to the people of this nation.  

When tragedies like this one occur, questions arise in our minds as to why?  When pondering any role God might have played, we need to first determine the grid of truth are we going to choose to both perceive and explain this horrendous tragedy through. In church yesterday, Pastor Bill Johnson spoke on this very topic, and today I’d like to share some of his reflections as food for thought.

One of the first things Bill reminded us is the critical importance of first determining our cornerstone theological belief about God. This cornerstone will set boundaries for what we will accept or reject as God’s part. If our cornerstone of belief is irrevocably that God is Good ALL the time-and the next 2 most important principles of God are that of seeing His kingdom come and His will done on earth as it is in heaven, and not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance, these beliefs will confirm to us that the cause of this tragedy could not be God.

If that is our conclusion, then we might be asking ourselves, How does God’s will work in this situation?  Bill went on to explain that from His perspective God does have an IMMOVABLE will that we ALWAYS have to adjust to. He says that there are truths that we do not have a vote on that God has predetermined.  An example is the truth that Jesus is coming back. No matter what we believe, pray, or want…………..this is going to happen as God as said it would. 

He went on to also say that God has a DESIRED will, which includes those things He desires to happen, but due to the protocol He has set in place from the beginning, His desired will, will only occur if we choose to co-partner with Him and use the keys of the kingdom and prayer. 

Bill mentioned that although prayer changes things, it is not to be used as a way to persuade God.  For example, to beg God to heal someone is to say that we have more mercy than He does.  Persistence in prayer is actually encouraged by God for us to help dismantle realities that have strongholds on change; things that we might not understand. Persistent prayer helps us to break those strongholds, and thus usher our world more and more into the kingdom of God.

Bill says that in regards to Japan, the theology to discern this tragedy must come through the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus came for 1 purpose; to reveal the Father to an orphaned planet. All scripture that was written before Jesus came in the flesh was written to show us our NEED for Him, and all scripture written after His coming was to EXPOSE the answer.  Jesus IS perfect theology. Jesus came to heal, restore, deliver and make all things new.  This was how He revealed the Father to this world, and this is how He continues to work today.

He mentioned that although we are blessed with the benefit of going to heaven one day, our main purpose on earth is to bring heaven to it. Now that Jesus lives in us, we are the carriers of Him to this world. He now reveals the Father through us.  If we choose to think any differently we will interpret such things as earthquakes as being sent by God.

God hates religion, but loves the hearts of sold out people to Him.  Being blessed doesn’t mean we all get beautiful homes and cars necessarily, but it does mean He will bless and pour out His favor on our lives.  The amount is determined by what we do with it.  If we take His inheritance of favor and blessings and use them to empower others around us, we will receive more. 

Instead of choosing to give God the credit for such tragedies as the one that just occurred in Japan, why not become prophets of hope by revealing His love, grace, provision, and salvation to others in the midst of tragedy? All circumstances give us an opportunity to see a glimpse of God’s goodness as He uses us to bring solutions into the most difficult of circumstances. Redemption of souls WILL come as the result.

Psalms 67:1-2 says,   May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us, Selah  That Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. When He is revealed, salvation is the result. Let us choose today to serve with the heart of a king, and rule with the heart of a servant as we pray and reach out to Japan in the power and love of Christ.  May Hope and salvation arise out of the rubble and devastation of the lives in this nation.

Please note: all commentary on this subject was solely written as my personal interpretation of Bill Johnson’s message. If you would like to hear it in its entirety, please visit www.ibethel.org and look for his message dated, 3/13/11. 

-The Quilted Poetess

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