Suicides totaled 49,500 in 2022, while drug-related deaths were reported at 109,680. Every day in 2021, about 37 people in the United States died in drunk-driving crashes – one person every 39 minutes totaling 13.384 fatalities. Theoretically, all of these could have been prevented.
On the medical side, CDC reported the top ten leading causes of death in 2021. They were Heart Disease (695,547), Cancer: 605,213, COVID-19: 416,893, Accidents: 224,935, Stroke: 162,890, Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 142,342, Alzheimer’s disease: 119,399, Diabetes: 103,294, Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis: 56,585, and nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 54,358.
And none of the above include the fatalities from natural disasters like heat, drought, winter weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and fire.
There is no way to measure the grief, sorrow, sadness, and sometimes the mental and long-lasting emotional trauma penetrating the very soul of each survivor. The survivor reviews multiple questions that haunt him: What if I had done – – any of many possible actions of love? Could I have prevented the death of the loved ones? The caregivers in any of the medical causes are plagued with these same questions and must deal with guilt, remorse, grief, and the unending thought of “Could I have done more.”
And in all of these cases, the individual is hounded with the inevitable questions of “Why, God?” and “Where was God” during this tragedy.
God uses these events for several purposes:
To alert and warn the unsaved person that death is inevitable. Someday he will die and then give the Lord an account of his life. Hebrews 9:27 states, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” The tragedy can cause some people to ponder the certainties of death, judgment, heaven, hell, and eternity.
God has already shown His love for us through the cross. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He died to pay for your sins. Have you received His gift of love?
To warn the Christian that life is short. Only what’s done for Christ will last. Are you making your time count for eternity? Have you done everything you can to teach your children about Christ, salvation, and the need to serve God faithfully?
To warn Christians of the consequences of sin. Has your life been lived for Christ up to this point? You want God to help you in this crisis. But have you neglected God in your daily life? What about your devotional time with the Lord? Are you pursuing a godly and holy life? Are you abstaining from activities condemned by God’s Word? Often we want to claim God’s promises but ignore the conditions that go with those promises.
To demonstrate God’s love for you. Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus (John 11:35). He had compassion on the multitude, healed their sick, and fed them in Matthew 14. He had concern for the two blind men in Matthew 20 and healed them. He had compassion for the man with leprosy in Mark 1 and healed him. God cares for and loves you.
To get our attention. If you have neglected the Lord, your heart has become hardened, calloused, and unmoved by the Word of God. You are satisfied to ignore church, Bible preaching, and the prayers and pleadings of your parents, loved ones, and friends. But now, this tragedy forces you to face the realities of sickness, accident, or death.
God is in the same place He has always been. He has always been available. He hasn’t changed. If you don’t feel close to the Lord, you have moved away.
God is sovereign: 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 “Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” He is in control.
God knows and understands all our pain and tragedies. Hebrews 4:15-16, For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
God will provide and help us through the trial. Psalm 37:23, 24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” ! Corinthians 10:13 “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
God will never leave us alone. 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.”
Jesus forewarned his disciples that they would experience tribulation in this life, but He would give them peace during that time. (John 16:33)
Trust Him completely today in your trial.