For the next several weeks. We (the 15th and Crawford Church of Christ) will be stating several Bible principles and asking the questions: Have you heard? Do you agree? Do you follow? Would you like to know more, giving everyone the opportunity to hear and believe (Romans 10:17) and an opportunity to learn (Acts 8:30-35). If you would like to write in, email any questions or responses to be answered or published, feel free to do so.
Today's principle: Does everything happen for a reason?
Yes and no. If you assume that everything that happens God has a hand in, you fail to realize what God permits and what God prefers. Sometimes the hardships we face are the results of a sinful choice. We produce our own wounds. It's not God doing the damage. It's our choice. Bad stuff usually follows making bad choices. Look at the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. Afterwards Cain kills Abel. That's what happens in a sinful world. The bad do bad things, and the good get hurt. It doesn't mean that everything that happens is something God wants to happen. And it certainly doesn't mean that everything that God allows is good. You can't blame God. Adam tried, (Gen. 3:12) Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." And also in Gen. 3:17, Then to Adam He said ... "Cursed is the ground for your sake;..." Don't blame God. Is God the cause? I think not.
With that being said, let's look at Romans 8:28. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Can a bad thing ever be a good thing? There are situations where God takes something bad and uses it to produce a good. Look at the cross of Jesus Christ. As I read Romans Chapter 8, I see God in control. No matter what happens in life, He is King. Take the example of Joseph and his brothers. (Gen. 50:19-20) Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Finally today, I would like to take an example from my own life. Sept. 11, 2009, I was diagnosed with leukemia. My first questions were, "Where was God taking my life? Is He taking me home? Is this a test of my faith?" My first thought was (Rom 8:37-39) "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Now to the answers of my questions: Where was God taking my life? Was it home to Him? Would my faith survive? Well, a long story short, here they are.
Three years later, I am closer to my Lord, family and church. I understand God is in control. I have met great people along the way. Great doctors, nurses and made new friends. I have met my bone marrow donor (Gary Savage), who helped in saving my life (answer to No. 2). Got to know him, and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my donor has recently put on Christ in baptism (Rom 6:1-11). And the answer to No. 3, "would my faith survive?" I wouldn't change a bit. God hasn't promised that everything will always work out in this life. But He has promised that, no matter what happens, He will never leave me or forsake me. I will close with the words of Isaiah, "Here am I! Send me." So some things do happen for a reason.
Feel free to study, comment, ask questions, suggest a topic, or even stop in for a visit anytime. For more information write or visit the Church of Christ, 1423 S. Crawford, Fort Scott, Kan., 66701. If you have any other comments or questions, please email me personally (Minister Mike Chipman) at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (620) 224-6681. Thank you for your time and God bless.