Sometimes horrible things happen in our world that makes absolutely no sense and the first thing we ask is “Why God?”
Senseless violence happens everywhere in our world at any given moment and it’s hard to reconcile that sometimes with a Loving God. So how do we help people to understand something that, especially if they’re victims, while He is a Loving Father, God doesn’t make violence happen, yet sometimes He doesn’t stop it from happening either?
We’ve covered much of that in the issue of ‘free will’ and the reality of evil in previous articles, but how do we help non believers understand that?
It really comes down to what’s in the heart, the will to choose good or evil. And in the face of evil, to choose whether to respond with goodness or evil. And it doesn’t matter who or what motivates people do such things, because they have evil in their hearts and evil comes in all political, societal, geographical, racial and ideological shapes and sizes.
God’s ways are higher than ours, and while we don’t understand so much in this world and present life, much of what He accomplishes isn’t for this life. He uses atrocities, suffering, hardships and trials to strengthen, to prove, to awaken, and draw people to Him.
That doesn’t make what happens in these times anymore comforting or understandable really, but while so much suffering happens, so much good also comes out of it- as we’ve seen during the aftermath of the two hurricanes a couple of months ago, and even after the Vegas shooting. The measure of good depends on the reaction. Overcoming evil with love and the Gospel of Christ is the only way we ought to react- as a witness to those who are still lost.
My heart along with untold more of us broke as news came out of South Texas. Prayers never seem to be enough considering the victims and the pastor’s losses, yet I know for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, knowing prayers are being offered by so many is very comforting in the hardest circumstances.
Someone asked, how does one overcome something like this?
I can’t imagine the horrific scene as it was happening, and I know Christians hurt and falter just as anyone would in a situation like this, yet the only answer can be Jesus.
He is the only one who can comfort and give peace beyond all our understanding when things like this happen. We don’t have enough of our own strength to deal with or understand it on our own, or even react in a Christ like way. He is the only one who can provide that kind of strength.
Christians around the world face these kinds of attacks every day when they go to church, gather for Bible studies and share the Gospel. They are a tremendous witness to the lost, but also an immeasurable source of encouragement for the rest of us if we let it be. And we have to let it be, so when it happens to us, we can react in the body of Jesus and give witness and encouragement to others.
We need to remember too that while Jesus weeps for those lost in these violent acts… that includes the perpetrators.
It’s hard sometimes for us to think about that especially when our emotions are raw with sadness and anger… and the why’s.
God loves and is ever present- especially through the horrific evil. We need to pray for His goodness to be manifest in the aftermath and draw more people to Him, and then maybe, these acts of evil won’t be as common place anymore.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Someday, we’ll understand. For now though, faith that God is in control and for us to be doing good in the face of evil is what the world needs.
God bless, comfort and give peace to our suffering brothers and sisters.
I hope everyone has a safe day.