Why Tragedies Happen
I would like to have God*s perspective on the earthquake in Haiti. I would like to know what He wants me to think and do and how He wants me to feel about it. I believe He wants us to rejoice over those that went to heaven as a result of the earthquake. I believe He wants us to sorrow over those who had rejected Christ and met their judgment. I believe He wants us to pray for the relief efforts, support them and participate in them in every way possible. I believe we should pray for everything and everyone who is affected by the tragedy, especially the survivors and the rescue workers. I believe we should pray for the injured.
I believe we should pray that many will see their need of salvation and learn to trust the Lord as a result of it.
One reason it happened is that there were many believers in Christ who perished. For them the earthquake was not a tragedy. It was going from a troubled world to a paradise. During tragedies God does not suspend His promises to those that love Him. They are eternal recipients of His love.
Romans 8:38-39: 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 creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
A troubling reason for the tragedy is that many who had rejected Christ perished. For them the earthquake was a genuine tragedy. If they had died one at a time their deaths would still have been a tragedy. The real tragedy is their rejection of Christ.
Another reason is that tragedies have an impact on whether or not people will become believers in the future. Some will become aware of their helplessness and their need for God. Others will reinforce their belief that God is bad and they will remain unbelievers. Some unbelievers will use tragedy to justify their unbelief. They will not recognize that death is the inevitable and natural result of human sin.
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Even Jesus spoke about occasions when multiple deaths occurred at one time.
Luke 13:1: There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
The world focuses too much on physical death and too little on the second death. Many give the second death no attention whatsoever. They don*t believe it is a fact. People*s lack of belief that there is a second death and a place called Hell is a far greater tragedy than an earthquake.
Revelation 2:11: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Revelation 20:6: Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:14: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Revelation 21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
We are usually only aware of God taking one believer to heaven at a time or the death of one infidel at a time. It isn*t much different when He takes a large number to heaven simultaneously or permits judgment to fall on a large number at the same time.
Physical death is an on-going tragedy in our world that goes largely unnoticed because it usually happens to just one person at a time. There are about 6 billion people in the world. If the average life expectancy of the world were 60 years approximately 100 million people would die every year. If 100 million people would die every year approximately 270,000 people would die every day. That is a tragedy that is all but ignored. Perhaps one reason the Lord permits tragedies is to get the world*s attention since they almost totally ignore the daily tragedies. They take life for granted. They forget how delicate and temporary their physical life is.
James 4:14: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Spiritual death is a far greater tragedy than physical death. That fact is ignored by most of the world.
People must recognize how God feels about the deaths of believers and unbelievers.
Psalms 116:15: Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Ezekiel 33:11: Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.