Dear BPCWA worshipper, What was the first thing you did this morning as you woke up? Probably the very “usual” things that you do every other morning. After that, what did you do next? Probably the usual things you do every Lord’s Day morning. Perhaps even our breakfasts are our “usual” breakfasts. We are people of routines. It is certainly important that we build good habits into our daily lives and have the discipline to live them out. But what if one day things change suddenly, a major part of your life is suddenly totally disrupted . . . and may even change forever?

Sudden life changes. 1)Health events. One such example that life can take a most unexpected turn is that of the Princess of Wales. After a planned surgery that was initially believed to be not cancer-related, it was later discovered that she had cancer. Other news articles later revealed that though cancer was often associated with the elderly, there had been increases in younger cancer patients. Young or old, ill health can come upon anyone, anytime. 2) Political events. We have over the past years witnessed that while many went to bed at night as they did for many nights, they were suddenly awoken by wars or invasions. Those affected in Ukraine and the Middle East have not had their “usual” life routine ever since. Instead, news from these areas seems to be increasingly dire with no end in sight. Fatigue, famine, and diseases are taking their toll. 3) Geographic events. For many, their regular schedules changed when a more than 7 magnitude earthquake rocked Taiwan as many were starting to get about their day. Even survivors fear returning to their homes. Across the globe a few days later, a smaller earthquake was felt in New York metropolitan areas and even as far as New England, also in the morning. Videos captured the tremors which were felt by those attending their usual meetings.  Beyond earthquakes, Australians have felt the impact of other calamities like sudden fires and the recent floods in the Eastern states. Whatever the cause, for many of those affected, their regular schedules are no longer “the same”. They experienced sudden, unexpected, and significant losses. And many may not be able to return home. The ability to live their lives may no longer be as it was before the event. They may not be able to return to the life they were used to. And these happened all so suddenly.

Sovereignty reigns over all sudden events. God rules over all of His creation. The understanding of this doctrine must give the child of God great comfort as we go through the troubles of life. Chastisements are God’s purposeful Hand. Blessings are from His bounty. But we must take the greatest comfort in the knowledge that even the trials that man perceives as evil are under His power. God’s purpose reigns over the entire human history to work out His plan, which spans across time and space. Things work by clockwork because God makes them tick. Ephesians 1:11 tells us that the smallest detail of where you are, when you are there, and how you are, has been “predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will”. God may allow Saul to exercise his sinful will, but Saul’s evil actions will never step even a micrometre beyond what God’s restraining Hand permits. It is precisely because Christ is “upholding all things by the word of his power” (Heb 1:3) that He can tell His children to “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin” (Mt 6:28). Such an illustration would be meaningless if He was not in absolute control of His creation. Flood waters are under His control for we are told that “When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures” (Jer 10:13). Earthquakes are not “unlucky” events, but they are at His command (Ps 68:8, Ex 19:18). The ability to stop wars are not controlled by the heads of governments, but only as God wills, for “the king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Pr 21:1). Ultimately, God is He who stops and permits all things. And that is our comfort. We can know surely that nothing happens by chance. Nothing catches God by surprise though we may not anticipate them. And it is only and precisely because He reigns over all that we can “know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). This is the greatest comfort that we can trust in when the “sudden” things of life come our way. There is no randomness or “chance” in God’s sovereign and loving rule.

However, while we behold the multitude of sudden calamities that have come into the lives of many upon this earth in mankind’s history and recently, it must remind us that there is one particular event coming that will bring a sudden change that the whole history of mankind has never experienced before. Christ told His disciples to “learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: 29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.” (Mr 13:28-29). That will be a “normal” day for the world, for Christ warned that that will happen “as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark” (Mt 24:38). On that day, some will wake up as they normally do, some will be going about their day as they normally do at home, in school, some will be at meetings which they normally attend, and some will be going to sleep as they normally do. That day of reckoning will come suddenly. If it were today, are you ready?

1Th 5:2-6  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

Are you truly saved? God’s day of reckoning will come. But if you are truly saved, the sudden change will be most welcome. But let us watch and not take our peace for granted. Let us not be caught off guard but ready for our Lord’s coming.

Yours in our Lord’s service,