Part of the plan?

Why is it, when tragedies happen, that people feel the need to say things that don't bring any comfort whatsoever? I know they're well intended and well meaning, but they don't help at all. One such saying (I wish it would go away) is "this must have been part of God's plan." As if God intended for us to go through agony and pain as part of His design. If I read the beginning of Genesis right, before the fall, there was no brokenness, no death, no pain at all, and God called it all "very good." It wasn't God who designed us as pain magnets; it was our ancestors insistence that they knew what was best for themselves.


At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus wept. I know many have speculated as why, but I love the explanation in my study bible. "He was angry at the tyranny of sin and death." He saw the mourners, Mary and Martha besides themselves with grief over their brother, and in His Spirit, He was troubled; and so Jesus wept. This was not His design. This was not what He created us for. Yet Jesus ultimately put an end to that tyranny that sin and death held over us. He didn't just weep; he challenged the very core of it all. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and as a lamb to the slaughter, He uttered no cry in His defense as they beat and mocked Him and nailed Him to a tree. The spotless, perfect lamb was sacrificed for our sin, and on that cross, our sin was defeated, and death was proved useless three days later when he walked out of that tomb.


Romans 8:28 says that God uses all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. This does not mean that all things are good; it means that we have a God who is so mighty and vast that, even when sin and death show their ugly heads, He can turn any situation to benefit those who it effects. What isn't part of the original design (the plan), becomes something that He uses to make something beautiful. He trades us beauty for our ashes, and uses our worst, most heart wrenching moments to draw us to His presence. Isaiah 61:1-11 (Speaking of who the Messiah would be [Jesus referenced this to Himself]):

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.


Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.


For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed.


I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.




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