Does God’s Plan for Your Life Include Tragedy?
Many people believe that God causes (or allows) tragic events to occur in our lives for a divine purpose. We believe this because most of us have gone through tragedy and we were in some way made stronger. The conclusion we come to is that tragedy refines our character so it must be God’s doing.
Many people are not strengthened through tragedy. They’re destroyed by it. This fact might cause us to consider the question more carefully.
So what is it, exactly, that creates a change of character during a tragic event?
In any situation, whether joyous or tragic, we make a choice whether we’re going to yield ourselves to the Spirit of God or to close ourselves off to His influence. If we open our heart, God can shape and mold it as He sees fit. This is how character is developed. Tragedy is an opportunity to build character only when we choose to yield to the work of the Holy Spirit. Many times during a tragic event, we harden our heart and it becomes embittered which prevents the work He wants to do.
It’s the work of the Spirit in our heart that refines our character; not the nature of the event itself. Great victory can be an opportunity to develop Godly character but it can also be an opportunity to become proud, arrogant or self-centered. The nature of an event itself doesn’t determine how our character is changed. Our response to it does. The same opportunities, both positive and negative, exist in every kind of circumstance—whether joyous or tragic. It isn’t necessary for God to cause tragedy in order to refine our character. It can be developed through any kind of event whenever we’re willing to cooperate with the work He wants to do.
Why Does God Allow…?