A Resurrection Message In the Midst of Tragedies


The seasons of Lent and passover are now over.  The whole world is celebrating Easter that Christ Jesus was triumphantly resurrected from his death that He spent inside the grave 3 days and 3 nights.  But not all people will celebrate Easter because their loved ones were perished by different past and present tragedies.

I really feel their pain and sorrows of families and friends like what happened on the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight No. MH370 more than 6 weeks ago.  But the plane’s debris and the black box haven’t yet found until now.  Another tragic issue is the sunken ferry happened a couple of days ago in South Korea.  According to straitstimes.com, “South Korean ferry Sewol ran into trouble on Wednesday (April 16) while sailing from the port city of Incheon for Jeju Island. The five-storey vessel with 475 people on board. The vessel listed violently, capsized and finally sank – all within two hours of sending a distress signal at 9am local time.” [1] The death toll has raised to 32 and 300 passengers are still missing or feared dead.  Families expressed outrage and showed their emotional meltdowns as I always continuously watched through international and local news network channels.  It’s so depressing!

I’m sending an Easter message to all families who are grieving right now in the midst of tragedy.  As a believer of Christ Jesus, what should you do in the midst of tragedy?

Dr. Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Atlanta and televangelist on his weekend television “In Touch”, said: “Reaffirm your position in Christ. Remind yourself of who you are and what you have in Him. It helps to do this out loud. You can say something like this:

‘I know that I am a child of God. I am saved. I have become united with Christ. I am sealed with the Holy Spirit. My eternal destiny is determined, and nothing can change that. The Lord will never leave me nor forsake me. Nothing can touch me apart from what my heavenly Father allows. All things will work together for my good since I love God and have been called according to His purpose in Christ.’ ” [2]

Dr. Stanley added: “In moments of despair, you need a strong dose of truth to relieve your troubled heart and set your feet on the immovable foundation of scriptural reality. Then you are ready to . . .

  • Ask God to remove adversity from your life. This is where we usually begin, but it is best to ask after we have gained perspective. In 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, Paul pleaded for his struggle to be removed. Although God did not answer that request, He didn’t chastise the apostle for it. Neither will He be displeased by your request. Even your prayer for mercy is an expression of dependence and faith.
  • Reaffirm the promise of God’s sustaining grace. The Lord may not choose to remove adversity from your life immediately. In that case, it’s important for you to rely on His grace—not your own abilities. People who try to endure suffering in their own strength collapse under the weight of it all. Admit from the start that you do not have the power to withstand the pressure. Cry out to God for mercy. He will hear you. His grace will be sufficient moment by moment to get you through.
  • Thank God for this unique opportunity to grow spiritually. You must look for the Lord’s part in your adversity, or you’ll miss it. You are not simply to endure suffering; you are to grow and mature through it. The best way to develop this attitude is to thank Him every day for the spiritual growth in your life.
  • Receive adversity as if it were from God. Most of the time, you don’t know for sure who’s behind your suffering, and believe it or not, the source of your adversity makes little difference. God has a purpose for each difficulty He allows.
    When you respond to adversity as if it were from Satan, the tendency is to fight it. When trouble lingers, you may begin to doubt God. So, as long as the Lord accomplishes His purpose through adversity in your life, receive it as from Him. And remember, God’s grace is sufficient for you (2 Cor. 12:9).
  • Read and meditate on passages of scripture that describe adversity faced by God’s servants. Read the story of Joseph, or look at the way God provided for Abraham when he was left with undesirable land. Imagine how foolish Noah felt while building the ark. The Bible contains illustration after illustration of God’s faithfulness in adverse circumstances.” [3]

I watched twice the Joy Tanchi Story on the Holy Week episode of 700 Club Asia’s “Tanikala” [4] yesterday on Youtube.  Joy was raped by six unknown robbers armed with high-powered guns and her siblings were shackled on the night of February 7, 1992 in Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines.  She experienced pain and trauma because of tragic rape.  She deeply lamented to the Lord and said: “Lord, what is your reason?  Why did you allow it for our family?”  I cried and burst with tears on the powerful testimony of  sister Joy.  The Tanchi family decided not to press charges against the robbers but Joy said to make a powerful testimony “because of our feeling and if you hide it how can God also use for our good and you know God brought a healing. We make also to forgive.”  Joy passed the faith-test and completely healed by God.  She is now married to Edric Mendoza and has 5 children.

Meanwhile, Joy’s father, Dr. Peter Tanchi, a senior pastor of Christ’s Commission Fellowship, shared the four (4) truths about God in the midst of tragedy happened to his family:

God is sovereign.  No matter what happens we must realize there are no accidents in the life of God’s people. God could have stopped it but He didn’t. For God is sovereign.

God knows everything. God knows was not taken by surprise.  He’s not knowing control but He knew this would happen but He didn’t stop it. But God knows what’s best.

God loves us.  Dr. Peter said, “God loves me and loves my daughter.”

God is Holy. God has no malice.  He does not just purposely allow people to suffer unnecessarily because God is good and holy.

In my tweets  said, “God allows people to suffer such as horrible tragedies. He’s in charge not to forsake them ‘coz of His love. Everyone experiences sufferings in this world. We should embrace it for Christ’s sake.” [5]  Suffering is unavoidable nowadays.  Let’s remember this, Paul said: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [6]

Tragedies are only temporary in this world.  We have higher hopes through our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus who conquered the world!  Let’s rely our faith in God in the midst of tragedies.

May God bless you all on Christ’s resurrection day!

 

 

 

Footnotes:

[1] http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/east-asia/story/south-korea-ferry-disaster-timeline-events-20140417

[2] http://www.intouch.org/you/article-archive/content/topic/responding_to_suffering_article#.U1LVE1cXLeo

[3] ibid.1

[4] “Tanikala” translated from Filipino means chains or shackles.  An annual Holy Week Special of 700 Club Asia aired on GMA Network Ch. 7

[5] http://www.twitter.com/iamchesterdiaz through #ChesQuotes #GodsNotDead

[6] Romans 8:38-39 New American Standard Bible – Copyright Lockman Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Korean ferry Sewol ran into trouble on Wednesday while sailing from the port city of Incheon for Jeju Island. The five-storey vessel with 475 people on board. The vessel listed violently, capsized and finally sank – all within two hours of sending a distress signal at 9am local time. – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/east-asia/story/south-korea-ferry-disaster-timeline-events-20140417#sthash.N03yBMQa.dpuf
South Korean ferry Sewol ran into trouble on Wednesday while sailing from the port city of Incheon for Jeju Island. The five-storey vessel with 475 people on board. The vessel listed violently, capsized and finally sank – all within two hours of sending a distress signal at 9am local time. – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/east-asia/story/south-korea-ferry-disaster-timeline-events-20140417#sthash.N03yBMQa.dpuf

South Korean ferry Sewol ran into trouble on Wednesday while sailing from the port city of Incheon for Jeju Island. The five-storey vessel with 475 people on board. The vessel listed violently, capsized and finally sank – all within two hours of sending a distress signal at 9am local time. – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/east-asia/story/south-korea-ferry-disaster-timeline-events-20140417#sthash.N03yBMQa.dpuf
South Korean ferry Sewol ran into trouble on Wednesday while sailing from the port city of Incheon for Jeju Island. The five-storey vessel with 475 people on board. The vessel listed violently, capsized and finally sank – all within two hours of sending a distress signal at 9am local time. – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/east-asia/story/south-korea-ferry-disaster-timeline-events-20140417#sthash.N03yBMQa.dpuf
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