The Logic of Tragedy

Bible Book: Selected Passages 
Subject: Problems; Trials; Christian Growth; God's Purpose; Christian Living

Selected Verses

What is the purpose of the book of Job? Is it perhaps to determine why the righteous suffer? Maybe Job was written not to answer why the righteous suffer but to make the statement that you don't have to know why you suffer. God doesn't answer every question. If we knew everything that God knows, then we would be Gods equal. If we were God's equal then we could not worship Him. So we are going to have to give God credit for knowing things we don't know.

Once man had perfect knowledge, perfect demotion, and perfect will. But now his will tends to be rebellious. His emotion tends to want to be satisfied on things temporal and sinful rather than eternal and his knowledge is impaired. The purpose of a message like this is not to answer the questions. It is to simply offer a bit of information that would simply add to our arsenal of understanding. It is to help build a mature and reasonable response that shortens the gap of understanding and creates faith more greatly in our God.

I. God Creates Man

God made man and gave him a perfect environment and free will. Everything God makes, God makes perfectly. When things are messed up, somebody, or something has somehow somewhere touched God's perfect creation with sin, with rebellion and as a result there is imperfection.

Sometimes innocent people get hurt. That is the kind of world we live in. We have an imperfect world that we have created. God created a perfect world in the Garden of Eden and made man to live eternally. God told man that if he refused to eat from the tree of knowledge he would have access to the tree of life forever and keep on living in that perfect state. Man was warned of the consequences of his sin.

The mind is the seat of knowledge - that is where we know.

The heart is the seat of the emotions - that is where we feel.

The soul is the seat of the will - that is where we commit. God will do everything He can to get right knowledge in you. There are 600 Christian radio stations, a dozen of Christian television networks on air, nearly 5,000 Christian books printed newly every year and 400,000 churches in America representing over 3,000 different denominations registered with the government.

God will also work on your emotions. If you start to do wrong your heart will beat fast, your hand will tremble. God will tear you up emotionally.

He works on your knowledge. He works on your emotions. But because you are a human being made in His image, not in the image of animals, He will never work on your will. Because your will is what makes you in the image of God. You can make moral choices. You have a free will. You can decide. God will allow you to do what you want to do. If God did not honor your will you would not be a human being. If He takes that away then He takes everything away. God knew that when He gave you a will and decided not to make you in the image of animals but in His image with the capacity to choose. He did that because He loved you and wanted you to know the joy and the beauty of choosing right.

If you obey Him there is love and fellowship and joy and a great life, but He could not give you the privilege of using your will and the capacity to choose to do right without running the risk that you would do wrong. So it is our fault not His that has created a fallen world in which we must live until we go to live with Him.

II. In His Image

God allows even bad things to work for our ultimate good. God moves things around for us so that bad things to work around for good.

Look at Romans 8:28-29

Read James 1

God does not have several purposes in your life. God has only one purpose and He is trying to accomplish only one thing in your life. Everything that happens to you has been filtered through the will of God who loves you and you love Him. The result is that it is all interacting together to produce God's singular purpose bad and good.

What is the best? It is the single purpose of God. What is the singular purpose of God? It is to be conformed to the likeness of His Son. Men are now born in a different image. We say that we are born in the image of God. We are not made in the image of God. Man is created in the image of sinful Adam. We are born in sin. We have to be remade in the image of God. This is a life long process called sanctification.

Sanctification means to holy-fy. We are not holy, but we are being made holy as we are more and more being made in the image of Christ. When we are all in heaven we shall be like Jesus and see Him as He is. The process, by which you get there from salvation to glorification is the process of sanctification. The Christian is to be growing in grace and in the likeness of Christ – and this process hurts. Why? Because there is so much unChrist-likeness about us that we spend our whole Christian life with God chipping it away.

Read James 1:2-5

You can't rejoice with your heart broken because of how you feel. You can rejoice only because of what you know, because you know that the testing of your faith is developing perseverance. And perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete. Not lacking anything of Christ like maturity. In the midst of your suffering you keep an attitude of rejoicing because of what you know. That God is using this to bless you and strengthen you and chip away the un-Christ- likeness and make you more like Jesus Christ.

III. The Promise

God will never leave us without the ability to endure the trial. When the time comes He gives you the grace you need.

A. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Think of temptation as a find of trial. No trial has seized you (in Greek it means overtake you). He will not give us any more than what we can stand. The word “way out” translated in the Greek does not mean a way around but rather means a way through. The promise is not that you will not go into a trial but that you will go through the trial.

In the darkest hour God's presence is experienced the most.

B. Daniel 6:18-22.

He is always there. God's eternal perspective is always faithful.

C. Hebrews 11:36-40

God did something better for us who live in the New Testament age. You see, we look back to the cross, but they looked forward to the cross. They were looking for the Savior they never saw. We look back to the Savior, back to the cross, and so what they believed was made complete in us. That is the eternal perspective was not complete in them; it is complete in us. When you look back from eternity and know as you are known fully and completely. Then you will see and then you will know what you did not understand in this life and is completed and perfected in the perspective from the next life and even the tragedies of life used for the glory of God to accomplish his will.