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Music Out of Tragedy

He wrote some of the most wonderful music in the history of humanity. However his life could not be called beautiful; it was full of tragedy. By the age of ten, both parents had died. He was raised by an older brother who resented another mouth to feed. Even as an adult, his life was difficult. His first wife died after 13 years of marriage. Of 20 children from two marriages, ten died in infancy, one died in his twenties, and one was mentally challenged. Eventually he went blind and then was paralyzed from a stroke. However he wrote great music-music of profound praise, thunderous thanksgiving and reverence.

Who is this victim of so much tragedy? Johann Sebastian Bach a Lutheran and perhaps the world’s greatest composer of church music. Maybe it was because Bach knew the depths of tragedy that he also knew the heights of faith and praise.

  • When we seem to be in the depths of despair, look up, for the Lord is going to bless us and others.

1 Peter 4:12-16

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;

13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.

14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;

16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.

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1 Peter 1:6-9

6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,

7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

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