Summary: our church has faced tremendous tragedy with the loss of Skylor Barret. But rather to face tragedy with God than without Him.
Intro: does good really come out of bad? Is there a blessing in the midst of tragedy? Are there benefits to facing suffering, grief, sorrow and loss? If the answer is no to these questions, than being a Christian isn’t any better than being in the world. As a Pastor I would say, we cry the same, we have a lot of the same questions, we can all say what if this happened or that, or why didn’t God keep this from happening. But there is one major difference, and tonight I would like to give you the benefits of being a Christian in the face of tragedy.
· Hebrews 4:14-16—we have a high priest that can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities—we can boldly approach Him because He knows what we are going through—in our lives as we face tragedy the one thing that is clear, no one knows exactly what we are feeling, what hurt and pain we are experiencing, but that is the benefit of being a Christian, Jesus knows what we are going through, He can be touched by our hurts and disappointments.
· Isaiah 53: 3-5 every suffering, every sorrow, every grief that man can experience, Jesus experienced for us, so that when he died on the cross, He could defeat everything for us, including death. Heaven is a place of no sorrow, no mourning, every tear will be wiped away.
· I Peter 5:7 casting all your care upon the Lord, for He cares for you. Another benefit we have in Christ is that we know He cares about what we go through in life. He cares about our hurts, He cares about the hard times in our lives. When we feel like no one cares, He cares, and even says we can give our hurts over to Him. We can pour out to the Lord and He will carry our burdens, He will carry us.
· Psalms 46:1 a very present help in time of trouble. Another benefit of serving the Lord is that He is not just there in the good times, but He is there in the bad times. When we face trouble, He is present, He never leaves us or forsakes us. He gives us the Comfort of the Holy Spirit in every situation. He will go with us even to the end of the world.
· I Thessalonians 4:13—that ye sorrow not, even as others that have no hope—this is probably one of the greatest possessions of the Christian that the world cannot give, and that is hope in the midst of tragedy. We have sorrow, we have grief, but not the sorrow of the world, which has no hope in the midst of tragedy.
· John 14:27—Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you—let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid—one of the great benefits of serving Jesus is that there is a peace this world cannot give. If you face tragedy alone, without Jesus, it will destroy you, if you face tragedy with Jesus, you shall experience a peace this world cannot offer.
· I Corinthians 15:53-57—tragedy, loss, suffering, sorrow, grief—it is all swallowed up in victory. Jesus has defeated every foe, and as a Christian we have an assurance that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, all that God has prepared for us in Christ Jesus.
· Revelation 21:25- there shall be no night there—here there is darkness, there will be only light there, here there is pain, suffering, sorrow, up there only joy and peace. Paul said, I reckon that the suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared to what we shall have up there (Romans 8:18).
Close: with all the tragedy we have faced in the last few days, I can honestly say, better to be in the storm with Jesus, than in the boat without Him. I can’t even imagine how people could face eternity without the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord, Master and King.