The news came as a shock and horror to many people around America and specifically in Aurora, Colorado. A deranged young man walked into a packed movie theater and shot 70 people — 12 were killed and many of the others were taken to the hospital in serious condition. Some of those people remain in the hospital nearly two weeks after the shooting. This tragedy has been called the worst mass shooting in American history. In the days following, America has grieved with the families of the victims and many people have asked the ever present question of Why? Why did something so tragic happen again in Colorado, or in our country for that matter? Why did so many people have to die or get injured? Why do we have to suffer through another heartbreaking tragedy? And for those close to the tragedy, Why my loved one? Why me?
For the families and friends of those who died, the answer to the question of “Why?” may never come. We will never know exactly why the gunman shot all those people. We may never fully understand why God allows suffering and tragedy in our lives. Many of us want to avoid bad things as much as possible. But in a world riddled with sin, sinful people, demons, and devils, suffering and tragedy are inevitable. John 16:33 states, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Jesus is telling us here that trouble and suffering and tragedy are certain in this world. There is no way to get around it. But there is still a reason to be joyful in our hearts in spite of those things. God does not cause bad things to happen but He does allow them to happen for three reasons
1. It keeps us humble. Many of us think that we can run our lives the way we want to with no regard for God or for the plans He has for us. When trouble comes, we quickly realize that God is in control of all things and that our lives are not so much our own. When we have to cry out for help and for answers to life’s problems, we begin to understand that suffering and tragedy are allowed to make us humble and keep us humble.
2. It helps us to grow. Romans 8:28 reads, “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.” Suffering causes us to mature and to understand the realities of life. It helps us to become better people and more equipped to help others who are suffering around us. God does not cause the suffering, but in this verse we see that He promises to bring something good out of it.
3. It draws us closer to Jesus Christ. God is not some distant being who is unconcerned about His people. He is very personal. He is a very real somebody who desires to have a relationship with you. The Bible says that Jesus was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” He understands. Suffering and tragedy come into our lives because it forces us to cry out to Him, to seek Him more, to depend upon Him for mercy and grace and guidance to deal with the trouble we face. Every tear we shed and every burden we bear, Jesus cries and bears it ten times over. Corrie ten Boom, a Christian Holocaust survivor, said this about Jesus Christ, “No matter how deep our darkness, He is deeper still.” Jesus wants us to draw closer to Him and suffering and tragedy cause us to do that.
All of us have, are going through, or will go through pain, suffering, heartbreak, heartache, and yes, even tragedy beyond imagination, at one point or another in our lives. It is not designed to break us but to build us. The shooting tragedy in Colorado has left us sad, confused, and angry. But it reminds us that “life is but a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanisheth away”. Those people in that movie theater that night had no idea they would step out into eternity. Likewise, we have no idea when we will take our last breath and pass from this life to the next. We may not be able to answer the question of “Why?” but we can answer the question of “Are you ready to die?”
Dear friend, if you knew tonight would be your last night on earth, are you ready to meet your Creator? Your tomorrow is not certain on this earth, but your future with God can be secure. If you’re not ready, allow me to help you get ready.
First, you must realize that you need God. You must also realize and admit that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws just as I have. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
Second, you must understand that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…” This is both spiritual death and physical death. We die physically and go to the grave because of sin and we die spiritually and go to hell because of sin.
Third, you must understand that you are on the road to hell because of your sins. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in 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.”
Fourth, you must accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Fifth, you must accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Because of God’s love for you, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for your sin. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Because God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, we can live with God in Heaven for all eternity after we die.
Finally, with these facts in mind, you must repent of your sins — be willing to turn from your old life — believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me the following simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour!
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!