Hope Beyond the Tragedies of Life

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She only had moments left to live.

As Christina sat cheerfully signing autographs after a concert in Orlando, Florida, she could not have known her killer was quickly approaching, gun in hand.

He despised her outspoken faith in Jesus and wanted to silence her voice forever.

I had not heard of Christina Grimmie until the stunning news broke of her murder on June 10, 2016. Soon afterward, I heard an early recording of her singing In Christ Alone and realized the depths of her love for the Lord Jesus.

The passion with which she sang those words coupled with the knowledge of what had just happened totally overwhelmed me and brought tears to my eyes.

I will not soon forget the deep heartfelt emotion Christina put into the final words of the song, “No power of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Till He comes or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand.” The passion with which she sang those words coupled with the knowledge of what had just happened totally overwhelmed me and brought tears to my eyes.

The killing of Christina demonstrates all the more our need to be focused on eternity rather than merely living for this present life. From an earthly standpoint, her murder appears to be a senseless tragedy; a young, perky, highly talented singer shot dead at the beginning of a promising career. How do we reconcile such a seemingly meaningless tragedy with our hope for eternity? Where is the purpose for all we endure here on earth?

What if this life for the believer is preparation for the next? What if all our experiences in this life are not only intended for our spiritual growth here, but also for what will be?

I believe the millennium provides the essential link between this life, disasters and all, and eternity.  The millennium is a thousand year period of time that begins with Jesus’ return to earth to setup His kingdom. We as believers will reign with Him during this time. After the millennium, eternity begins as described in Revelation 21-22.

In the millennium, we will see the Lord’s purposes for what we endure in this life come alive. The dark times of our lives will explode into wonderful light as we clearly see all of God’s purposes for taking us through them.

Do you remember the story of Joseph? How could he have known as he trudged toward Egypt shackled in chains that God was preparing the way for him to reign alongside Pharaoh? Joseph’s time in the household of Potiphar and then in prison became a training ground for his storybook rise to power. He remained faithful in the worst of circumstances and God used him in a mighty way.

Since we will reign with Christ during the millennium; it only makes sense Jesus would prepare us now for our future roles.

Is there a parallel for us? I believe there is. In the parable of the talents, Jesus rewards his followers with kingdom responsibilities based on their faithfulness to Him (Matt. 25:14-30). At the judgment seat of Christ, Jesus will examine our lives with the clear implication of loss as well as rewards (1 Cor. 3:10-15). Since we will reign with Christ during the millennium; it only makes sense Jesus would prepare us now for our future roles.

The millennium will be the time when the purposes for all we endure here come to full fruition. Although Christina is currently with the Lord receiving comfort as only He can provide, I believe she will see a still greater purpose for her untimely death when Jesus returns to earth and she reigns with Him.

Christina will sing for the Lord forever and ever! The only voice her killer silenced was that of his own.

Please listen to Christina singing “In Christ Alone” in the link below. Her passion for Jesus brought me to tears as I listened to this song shortly after her death.

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