1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
Throughout the Word of God, there are similar stories that could be defined or placed under the heading of “Triumph through Tragedy.” Such is the case here in the book of Ruth. Elimilech and Naomi leave the will of God because of difficulty. They go to sojourn in Moab. While in Moab, Elimilech dies as do his two sons. Naomi is left alone without her husband and sons, but she decides to return to Bethlehem-Judah. When she does, Ruth her daughter-in-law decides to return with her. They return to Bethlehem, and a wonderful story of grace unfolds as Ruth finds grace in the eyes of Boaz. We later find that she is included in the lineage of Christ. This is a triumph that came from a tragedy.
There are many stories in the Bible where tragedy brought triumph. There is the story of David and his men returning to Ziklag from battle. When they return home, they find that their town and people had been invaded and the people and goods had been taken captive. The Bible tells us that David encouraged himself in the Lord. It is not long until this brought them where the perpetrators were, and David and his men recover not only their stolen goods, their wives, and their children, but they also recovered stolen property from other people. This tragedy of the spoiling of Ziklag turned into a triumph.
In Luke 15, we have the tragedy of a son taking his inheritance and going into the far country to waste all he had on riotous living. When he had spent all, he was hungry and in want. At that state, he came to himself and said, “I will arise and go to my father’s house.” You know the story: he was restored to his father, and house, and learned a valuable lesson.
Job’s life is one from tragedy to triumph. God restored to him ten-fold of all that he had possessed before his tragedy hit him.
As you read the various similar stories in the Bible, you find that there were different things that brought about the tragedies: rebellion, bad decision, enemy induced affliction, and the Providence of God.
Many did no wrong. I have helped many people (even in recent days) that face terrible crisis and difficulty in their lives. They have to decide what to do with their tragedies. I musk ask myself serious questions: Could I find an opportunity for triumph without tragedy if I humbled myself before God? Does not the Word of God tell me to humble myself? Does not the Word of God tell me to seek the face of God? I know what it is to be broken, to have dreams taken away, to have life become difficult without a father, a young mother with none to care for her. I know what it is to weep through the night, and to hurt in loneliness. The truth is, I do not want to have to have a tragedy in my life for God to get my full attention!!!
Is there a tragedy that could bring me closer to God? Then, can I get closer to God today without tragedy? Is there a tragedy that could bring you to surrender to the will of God? Is there a tragedy that could bring you to a sense of urgency to reach souls? Is there a tragedy that would bring our families closer? Is there a tragedy that would break our hearts for America to seek revival? Let’s not wait for the tragedy. Let’s decide to do the will of God!
Jeff Fugate | Pastor
Clays Mill Baptist Church