An encouragement as we face death in Diana, TX


Coach Keith McKinley (a coach in the New Diana school district) died on Tuesday, April 7. The story in the Longview News Journal was very brief, and heart breaking.[1] A young man, seemingly in good health, simply dies without warning. Adding to the tragedy, Keith has left a wife and three children behind to grieve their loss.

In times like this, it is inevitable that we begin to ask questions like “How does something like this happen?” or “Why would God allow such a terrible thing?” These are serious questions that should not be passed by too quickly or answered too carelessly. When we face the most difficult pains of mortal life, it is always beneficial for us to consider what God has revealed in His word. We cannot know the answer to every question, but we can answer many of the tough questions of life because God has graciously told us what is true.

We must remember these truths (among others) as we wrestle with the real emotional and intellectual pains of dealing with this tragedy.

(1) God is sovereign.

There is nothing that happens outside of God’s control. While it may seem helpful to say something like, “God didn’t want this to happen,” this statement simply isn’t true. If God wanted to avoid this tragedy, He could easily have done so. There is no power that forces any event upon God. He is the creator and sustainer of everything at every moment. This is humbling, mysterious, and comforting to all who look to God for refuge and comfort.

Bible passages to consider on this subject are Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14, 6:2-3; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3; Matthew 6:9; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; Galatians 4:6; and Ephesians 4:6.

(2) The curse of sin is exceedingly painful.

Since the very first sin, humanity has been living under the curse of God, which is further reaching than most imagine it to be. God has cursed humanity and all creation because of sin, and this is why we suffer in all sorts of ways and ultimately die. It is wrongheaded, however, to think that each person is being punished for his or her particular sins while they suffer in this life. Sometimes evil people live quite long and happy lives, and sometimes good people endure terrible circumstances and die at a young age. Though humans do not bear the penalty directly for their sins in this mortal life, all humans live under the general curse of sin. Nasty and hurtful times remind us of the nastiness of sin and the pain that it actually causes all who are driven by sinful desires.

Bible passages to consider on this subject are John 8:34; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18, 23; 5:6, 12, 19; 6:6, 7:14-25; and Ephesians 2:1-4.

(3) Jesus Christ has ultimately provided real and lasting hope in the face of suffering and even death.

While Christ has not promised to spare all Christians from death, He has promised that He shall raise all who trust in Him to eternal life. This mortal life is painful, and death is never good, but Christ has suffered under the greatest pain of both mortal life and physical death without being overtaken by them. Jesus has conquered death! Jesus promises to bring all those who trust in Him to the Father’s side forevermore. This incredible promise cannot be overstated, and God Himself has promised it.

Bible passages to consider on this subject are 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 24-28; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; and Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.

We dare not comfort one another with empty promises of our own or false phrases that only serve to fill the air with foolish things. Because of what Christ has done, and because of what He has promised to do for all who trust in Him, there is comfort for the grieving and hope for the hurting. Let us all lean on the Savior of our soul and look to Him for real comfort and hope today.

I, like you, do not have all the answers to every question, but I do know that God has revealed much about Himself. And there is comfort to be enjoyed by all who look to Him.

Pastor Marc Minter