I was in my study at First Baptist Church of Oxford, Alabama writing the message for that coming Sunday which was titled: “By What Means Salvation, Revival, & Growth?” I went back and pulled up the manuscript and here’s what I was writing immediately before my wife Pam called to tell me what was going on (I left the emphasis in as they were in the manuscript)…
We MUST sift EVERY EVENT in life through our theology! REPEAT!! In fact that is already what you do! What you believe about God… & whether or not you BELIEVE GOD (Not IN God…)… is how you process life & the things that happen to you & your family.
The only way to maintain a godly perspective… your sanity… a passion for living… keep going in adversity… your joy… inner contentment & peace is thru a good strong & Biblical theology. Your theology… what you believe about God… determines how you handle & process every event in life!
Is God in control or not? Is God sovereign or not? Does God love you or not? Is God working ALL THINGS for your good or not? Do you believe God or not?! Your THEOLOGY determines just HOW BIG YOUR GOD REALLY IS!!
In Pr 21:31 it is written, “Prepare for the battle, but the victory comes from God!” We must define victory… not on our, the world’s, or Satan’s terms… but on GOD’S terms! “Victory” & “defeat” are defined by God… NOT US! ** After writing the next paragraph… Pam called about The World Trade Center **
Does God use, or cause, tragedy (1 Sam 2:6-8)? What about illnesses? Financial collapse? Would God take the life of one of His children to bring about His will (Ac 4:27-28)? (Pam called after I put the “?” in THIS paragraph).
At the time I understood that what I was writing was exactly what God’s people needed to hear that coming Sunday. What the Lord had given me in those five paragraphs were things every Christian needed to hear and know about hardship and adversity. I didn’t know it then, but in my own life there were a number of difficulties, hardships, and tribulations that would come. Over the next few years my family had to endure things I couldn’t have imagined at the time. It was what we believed about God that strengthened us during some minor hardships.
Those five paragraphs are still true on 9/10/2011 as they were on 9/11/2001. What does your theology teach you about suffering?
Aside to preachers: What did you say to God’s people on 9/11/2001? Is it still as preachable today as it seemed to be then?