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A lot of times, life does not make sense.  When a seemingly pointless tragedy happens it can be hard if not impossible to understand.  Case in point:  In July 2021 I lost an 18-year-old relative to gunfire.  Taylor was a good, hardworking young Christian man just getting started in life, yet in his prime he was gunned down—for what?  As of this writing what and why it happened are not yet known.  The one consolation we have as family is that since he was saved he is in heaven.  Still, when things like this occur it is hard to give assurance to the bereaved since words are nearly impossible to come by.


It is tempting for at least some individuals to question God’s goodness or even turn against Him after going through such a tragedy.  And then there is another reality which faces us: No matter who you are, how you live, or how well you take care of yourself, eventually you will die.  Questions about things like this are as old as humanity itself.  People in the Bible, even the wise king, Solomon, contemplated the difficult things in life, including the surety of death:


Ecclesiastes 9:2-3, 11-12:  All things come alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; to the good, the clean, and the unclean; to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice.  As is the good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.  This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all.  Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead…I returned and saw under the sun that—the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.  For man also does not know his time: like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.


Ecclesiastes 1:8-9:  All things are full of labor; man cannot express it.  The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.  That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.


Jesus, in discussing forgiveness in His great Sermon on the Mount, also spoke about various things in life happening to various people, and took note of the kindness of the heavenly Father in the process:


Matthew 5:43-45:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”


I do not know who took Taylor’s life or why as of yet, but whoever it is and whatever the reason, my forgiveness is already there regardless.  I want the perpetrator(s) to be held accountable, but God forgave me for my sins so I extend forgiveness.  It still does not make sense.  There are events that happen in life for which there are no easy answers.  Alluding to Jesus’s words in the above passage, one thing we all have in common is that everyone experiences the good and the bad in life to varying degrees.  Like Solomon said, time and chance happen to them all.  Ultimately we can blame Adam (and Eve) for the fall of man and of the entire created order:


Romans 5:12-  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—…


It is assuring to fall back on the words of Jesus, seeing that He mentioned how the heavenly Father gives good and evil alike the days of their lives and blessings also to enjoy.  We may not get the answers to some of the questions we have about life while we are here on this earth, but God can be trusted no matter what, even if we cannot understand what happens or see the reasons.  And there are promises God gives to us as His children that make even the toughest times more bearable.  I will let the Scriptures speak:


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:  To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.


Ecclesiastes 8:12-13:  Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.  But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.


Psalm 9:7-8:  But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment.  He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.


Job 13:15, 19:25-27:  Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.  Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him…For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!


2 Corinthians 4:16-18:  Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.


1 Thessalonians 4:13-14:  But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.


Revelation 21:1-4:  Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”


Psalm 23:6-  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.



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