Sid:   We want everyone everywhere to understand the invisible world, to walk in the supernatural where miracles are normal not abnormal.  My guest understands that invisible world; he has got what I believe is the best or one of the best documented modern day miracles I’ve ever seen.  The evidence is overwhelming. His name is Ben Godwin, I’m speaking to him at his home just outside of Birmingham, Alabama.  And Ben I want to tell you a sad story.  One of my closest friends in the area I live is a medical doctor.  He had the best practice in the city and he loved God, he believed in healing if anyone believed in healing he believed in healing. He developed cancer and with his dying breath he believed God was going to heal him and he didn’t and he died.  It was a young man, he had young children, he had everything to live for, and a lot of people’s faith was crippled, they said, “If he could not be healed what chance do I have?”  You wrote a book called, “God’s Strategy for Tragedy” it’s for people that survive what he didn’t survive. I’ve just postured so many questions in the example I’ve given you, I wonder if you would talk to that?”

Ben:  Certainly, of course Paul told Timothy we have to fight the good fight of the good fight of faith.   And I believe everything that we obtain and maintain from God is based on faith and I went through a recent tragedy, I lost my mother who was a rock of faith.  I lost her back in May 13th of this year, and she like the person you mentioned, believed God with her dying breath.  And I don’t feel betrayed, I don’t feel like God abandoned us; you know she had been healed many times over the course of her lifetime.  In my opinion it was just her appointed time that God took her, but I would say to that person that’s struggling with questions.  Don’t feel like God has abandoned you, and we’ll get into some of the reasons God allows tragedy, and the truth will set you free from those negative feelings and emotions.

Sid:  Let’s go to that question, “Why does God allow tragedy,”

Ben:  Yes, he could prevent it, there are several reasons.  First of all, we have examples in the Bible where God allowed tragedy simply as an opportunity to manifest His glory.  One example is Lazarus; Lazarus died prematurely and Jesus said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God that the works of God maybe manifested in him.”  In other words the only reason God allowed him to die was so that Jesus could come and raise him up and glorify Himself through that.  So sometimes tragedy is an opportunity for God to supernaturally intervene and glorify His name.  Now in other cases sometimes God allows tragedy to change our direction. A good scriptural example is the Apostle Paul before he was Paul he was Saul, and he was going with letters in his hand to Damascus to imprison, persecute and possibly execute Christians.  Now when he was interrupted by a blinding light he was blinded for 3 days and then scales fell from his eyes and what happened?  His whole direction in life was radically and dramatically changed by the tragedy that he endured.  Of course another reason God allows tragedy is to draw us closer to Himself, there’s a quote that I love that’s in the book on page 97.  It says “Adversity is God’s University”, and sometimes we don’t understand what we’re going through but God can use situations to soften our heart to draw us closer to Himself.  There’s nothing like trouble that forces us to our knees, in fact Abraham Lincoln during the dark days of the civil war said, “I have been driven to my knees many times with the overwhelming realization that I had nowhere else to go.”  And so sometimes God can use tragedy to draw us closer to Himself.

Sid:  Now I believe that that is what’s going to happen to our country in the next few years.

Ben:  Yes.

Sid:  I believe that there is going to be a major move of God’s Spirit and it’s going to be because of tragedy, unfortunately.

Ben:  Well, unfortunately sometimes it takes drastic measures to get people’s attention.  Some people have become so apathetic, and they’ve hardened their hearts so much that it takes something really dramatic.  Look at the response of America after 9/11, look at the response of America after the Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters.  It’s like we turn to God for brief a brief time, but then when everything’s back to normal we kind a lose our focus.

Sid:  The church is swelled up 30 days later, they emptied again.

Ben:  Yes, so it’s going to take something radical, something supernatural to bring America back to its knees, unfortunately.

Sid:  God uses this, God allows it but is God doing the tragedy or do you believe that it’s the devil and then why couldn’t God just stop the devil?  I mean these are kind of deep questions.

Ben:  Oh, they’re very deep and I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but one thing I do stress in the book is that we live in a fallen world system.  When Adam fell all of creation fell with him and things do not function like God originally intended for them to function.  I don’t believe that God is out you know creating chaos, but I do believe sometimes He will withhold His hand or He will lift the hedge and allow things to happen that will cause people to draw close to Him.  I think a classic example of that is Job.  You know God said to Satan he said, “Have you considered my servant Job that there is none like him that walketh upright and eschews evil?”  And Satan complains because he said, “God you put a hedge around about him and all that he has.”  And I believe that’s true that there is a supernatural hedge around God’s covenant people, but sometimes as in the case of Job God will temporarily lift that hedge.  Whether it’s a test, whether it’s to prepare us for ministry, whether it’s to draw us closer to Himself God will lift that hedge and the purpose is not to destroy us, the purpose is to workout redemption, the purpose is always to bring glory to His name in the end.

Sid:  Now, you have a quote in your book, “You say that our response to tragedy is not the problem, but how we respond.”  What do you mean?

Ben:  That’s right, I don’t think it’s what we face in life that determines what we are, it’s how we react to what we face in life.  See two people can go through very similar circumstances…

Sid:  So are we fair weather believers, when things are good, “Praise God, praise God.”  When things go bad do we attack the only one that can solve our problem?

Ben:  Right.  Well see, Jesus said in Matthew 5:45 “He makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good; He sends His rain on the just and the unjust.”  And sometimes what were taught in faith circles is a little bit unrealistic. We’re taught that if you walk in faith then you’re a Christian then nothing bad will ever happen to you.  Well that’s not Biblical we live in a fallen world. I like Job’s mentality.  Job said this in the midst of all of his calamity, ten child were killed, all of his livestock were taken away, his own body erupted with boils and there he sat in ashes.  But in the end he said, “Though God slay me yet will I trust in Him.”  In other words, I’m not going to serve God because of what He gives me; I’m going to serve God regardless.

Sid:  Now what I don’t understand is, I understand what you’re saying, what I don’t understand is that would be my attitude and has been when tragedy hits.  But I don’t understand why it isn’t everyone’s, why isn’t it?

Ben:  Well, I think it goes back to your relationship with God and your perspective.  You know if you become part of the solid rock foundation of the Word of God then you can become unshakable.  When my Mom passed away three months ago it was the hardest thing I’ve ever faced in my life but not for a minute was I bitter against God, not for a minute did I blame Him because I believe God is sovereign, I believe He’s in control despite what we face in this life.  So it’s not so much why God allows tragedy to me the more important question is how we respond to it.

Sid:  How should someone respond to tragedy?

Ben:  Well, in my book I outline the three probably most common responses.  Some people just become, well they blame God, they just outright shake their fists at God and say “Why me, why did You let me down, where were You when I needed You the most.”  And they just out right blame God.  Other people aren’t that defiant or that vocal, and they just turn it all inward.  They wouldn’t so much verbally blame God but they become bitter in their Spirit.  And there is a Biblical example of that.  Naomi in the book of Ruth lost her husband, and two sons. When she came back to Jerusalem after ten years in Moab people didn’t recognize her.  And they said, “Is this Naomi?”  And she said, “Don’t call me Naomi which happens to mean, pleasant,” she said, “Call me Mara which means bitter for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me.”  And so she wasn’t blaming God but she had become bitter in her spirit where she could really thrive in her walk with God.  And then the third response that I believe is the Biblical response is to believe, you just keep believing

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