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Unless You Repent You Shall Perish

Our point of view is crucial when difficult things happen to us. A great example of a person transforming calamity by his Christlike point of view is David Watson. Watson, a minister in England, died of cancer before these words of his were published:

“It’s sometimes only through suffering that we begin to listen to God. Our natural pride and self-confidence have to be stripped painfully away and we become aware, perhaps for the first time, of our own personal needs.

“During the ministry of Jesus on earth, a tower fell in Siloam and killed 18 innocent people. ‘Why did God allow it’ was the immediate questions pressed by those around Him. Jesus replied, not by answering the question of suffering nor by giving a satisfactory solution to this particular tragedy. Instead, He came back to the practical challenge of God’s Word: ‘I tell you...unless you repent you will all likewise perish.’ It may sound a little bleak, but Jesus was far more concerned with a person’s eternal well-being than merely satisfying an intellectual curiosity. Here He was dealing not with the question of ‘Why?’ but with the question ‘What?’ ‘What is God saying in this calamity?’”

Watson concludes,

“Through the unexpected diagnosis of cancer I was forced to consider carefully my priorities in life and to make some necessary adjustments. I still do not know why God allowed it, nor does it bother me. But, I am beginning to hear what God is saying, and this has been enormously helpful to me.”

Morning Glory, January 21, 1994