We live in a very broken world. I had been thinking through various topics to write on for this weeks article; however, none of them seem quite right in the light of the tragic shooting at a Christian school in Tennessee yesterday. It is difficult to try and process these types of events or to try and explain them.
It is heart breaking that shootings like this are coming more and more frequently. As more information comes out regarding the shooting yesterday, it appears that this school and these victims were singled out for being Christian. How should we think through this; how should we process it or try and explain it? Today, I just want to provide some biblical truth for us to reflect on during these times.
We cannot live in fear. We must walk in faith, knowing that God is good. We have an eternal hope that cannot be taken away, and we live for that (John 14.1-3). We have confidence in our Savior Jesus Christ. The author of Hebrews encourages with the following: “For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence which has great reward...But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve our souls.” (Hebrews 10:34,35,39)
We cannot seek vengeance or try to get even. When believers suffer for standing for God and the truth of His word, we must continue to give our situation over to God. Jesus gave us an example of how to continually entrust circumstances to our Heavenly Father while suffering (1 Peter 2:19-25). In application Peter wrote, “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” (1 Peter 4:19)
We need to love others. We cannot respond in kind when we are faced with evil. We need to continue to love as Jesus loved. Paul wrote the following in Romans 12:14-21: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them...Live in harmony with one another....Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all...Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’...Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
These are verses and passages that many of us are familiar with. Yet, when we face tragedy and hardship, we do not need something new; our greatest need is to look to God and to be reminded of the truth of His Word. May our thoughts and reflections be grounded in the His revealed truth. While we live in a broken world, we eagerly await the new heavens and new earth where all will be mended.