OUR STORY – PART 2

A Simple Little Question

The most basic question people ask about tragedy is “Why”? The truth is that tragedy seems to be completely contrary to the nature of a loving God. What purpose could there possibly be for the suffering we experience as a result of tragedy? The Bible teaches us many truths about the purpose of suffering. The following stories of two families show God’s purpose for tragedy in their lives.

A Serious Little Accident

Gladys and Leo had head knowledge about God but never knew Him personally. Gladys considered herself a Christian because she went to church. Yet deep inside she knew something was missing. Gladys and Leo came to the United States in 1996 from the Philippines. Shortly after she was asked a unique question by an acquaintance. “Gladys, where would you go if you died today?” She responded, “Hell.” She realized that her sins far outweighed her good deeds. Then she was shown the Bible verse: “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.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). She knew that she could not be saved by any good works and asked Jesus Christ that night to forgive all her sins – believing in Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection to save her. She left the house with full joy knowing that she would go to heaven when she died. Three months later, Leo also asked Jesus to be his Savior.

They were enjoying life when suddenly it all changed. On Sunday evening Sept. 5, 2010, Leo took a motorcycle ride after church around the back parking lot. As the family stood nearby, they heard a crash but did not see what happened. They expected Leo to walk back with a few scratches. The police kept the family away from the crash. Leo was airlifted to a hospital while Gladys cried out in fear to God. An hour later, the doctor came with the stunning news – Leo was dead! A friend from church took her to the pastor’s house where the children were. Dylan was 11, Lauren 10, Darryn 5, Leilani 3, and Duke was just 3 months at the time. Gladys told them “I don’t want you to get mad at God with what I’m about to say, but Daddy is in heaven.” They had no conversation after that, just pain. A lot of pain.

Leo

Romans 8:28 says, “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.” The purpose for the Christian is basically this – take the grace that God gives them and share it with others. When God saves us, we share this grace by telling others how they can receive this grace. We share the grace of God’s blessing by testifying and helping the needy. God also gives grace to help in time of need or suffering. We must share this grace with others who are hurting. As a result of their tragedy, Gladys sought ways for her family to share God’s grace. She created a website called wehavebeenblessed.com. The children began singing praises to God in nursing homes and anywhere else God provided the opportunity. People were led to Christ by their testimony. God would eventually lead her to meet the man in the next story and show her another purpose for her tragedy.

A Silent Little Killer

Darrin and Diane had waited a long time for God’s plan for marriage. They had gone to the same Bible college but had never met. They had remained single while serving in different churches. They had not met the person they believed God had for them to marry until being introduced in 2008. The timing of their wedding in 2009 was perfect. It took place a few months before Diane’s dying father was no longer able to travel. The date was June 5tth – the birthday of Darrin’s sister, who had passed away three years before at age 45 while serving as a Christian School teacher. Everyone knew life would be perfect for them.

Only life wasn’t perfect. Diane’s father passed away that December. A few weeks later she began suffering symptoms of sciatica, which deteriorated to a nearly crippling condition. Trips to the doctors did not reveal any solutions for her pain. They also didn’t reveal a silent killer in her body waiting to strike. A trip to the doctor on April 14th revealed nothing. Two days later, the killer struck while Darrin was at work. He came home to find that his wife of ten months had died from a stroke seven hours before.

Darrin’s friends were stunned by the news. How could God do this to someone who had waited to marry for so long? Yet Darrin knew that Romans 8:28 was true – God had a purpose for this tragedy. His search to share God’s grace in trial led to a mission trip to Asia, where God called him to the mission field. His preparations and future trips eventually led him to meet a widow who had also suffered tragedy in 2010 and who also felt the call to the mission field – Gladys Rombaoa. They were married in August 2014.

Diane

Diane

A Special Life Purpose

God has a purpose for you no matter what happens in your life. His first purpose is that you should be saved. Christ suffered the seeming tragedy of the cross for the purpose of redeeming you from your sin. 1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” The greatest tragedy we could suffer is to die in our sins without Christ.

Consider the following:

All have sinned. Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Our sin separates us from God. Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

We cannot save ourselves. 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.”

All we earn is the price of our sin. Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death.” Luke 13:3 – “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Revelation 20:14 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Salvation is a free gift. Romans 6:23b “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Jesus paid the price for the gift of salvation on the cross.

We must ask Jesus to save us to receive the gift of salvation. Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9 – “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.”

Will you receive this gift of God’s love? The Lord will save you today if you ask Him!

 

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