September 17, 2011
“There is a culmination, an end result toward which all of history is moving. And that ultimate goal of history, Scripture tells us, is the glory of God, as displayed through His redeeming a people unto Himself.”
Kienan Herbert was mysteriously returned by his abductor after four days of prayerful petition from his church community. On Sunday, September 11th Kienan’s pastor, Ron Rutley, led the congregation in a service of thanksgiving for his safe return. His message aimed straight at the doubt we experience when something tragic happens. In the dark hours of our lives, when we inevitably question where God is, or what His plan is, the following words from Pastor Rutley’s sermon are a comforting reminder of God’s omnipotence.
"There is a saying I’ve heard a couple times over the last few days. Maybe you have too. “Everything happens for a reason,” the saying goes. And while that saying is true as far as it goes, I don’t think it’s the best way to put things. Because what does the word “reason” mean in that saying. Does reason mean cause? Does everything has a cause? Of course everything does. But God did not cause Kienan’s kidnapper to abduct him?
Or does “reason” mean result? Everything is working towards a goal. That’s a better understanding, but in that case, we are being sloppy with our words when we use the word reason. Because, from a Biblical perspective, it is better to say that everything happens for a purpose. There is a culmination, an end result toward which all of history is moving. And that ultimate goal of history, Scripture tells us, is the glory of God, as displayed through His redeeming a people unto Himself.
So while God did not cause this, He is still sovereign over this. God can take something as horrific as Kienan’s abduction, something as terrible as every parents’ nightmare and sweep this awful event up into His own purpose so that good will come of it. But we might never know the reason why, this side of eternity. It might be that a generation yet to come will look back at the events of this past week and see the reason behind them. But we can’t, we are too close to them.
So all we can do is trust in God’s purpose. Trust that the Great King will take these awful circumstances and bend them to his good and gracious will."
Published with permission from Pastor Ron Rutley, the Senior Pastor at Sparwood Fellowship Baptist Church, British Columbia.
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