Apparently, Campus Crusade rejected this one. 😉
Actually, after thinking about it, the statement “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” remains true even in circumstances as dire as above. The key difference is a difference of perspective. How do we define “wonderful?” The problem is that for many, “wonderful” is synonymous with “pleasant.” But it’s false that God has a pleasant plan for my life. A non-Christian might define a “wonderful plan for my life” in many ways: finding a spouse, having a nice family, being financially sound, having friends, no hell, etc. But as a Christian, my definition of a “wonderful life” must be reoriented to a paradigm in which God is the center of the universe and the Person for Whom everything exists. When we become Christians, we must undergo a Copernican revolution in which we realize that the Son is the center of the universe, not my life here on earth. Let me say this again. We are not the center of the universe. God is not circling around us. We are circling around him. This will immediately change our definition of a “wonderful life.” A wonderful life is a life that glorifies God and fulfills His purposes in this world. A wonderful life is a life “worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory” (1 Thes 2:12). It is one in which the Lamb that was slain receives the reward of His suffering. If God’s purpose for my life is for me to stand for Him, empowered by His Spirit, as a ferocious lion devours my flesh, and for thousands of onlookers to watch as I glorify God in my death, then that would be a wonderful life.
Consider the examples of the wonderful lives we are given in Hebrews 11:32-38:
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (ESV, emphasis mine).
These were truly wonderful lives.