What can we say to Newtown (audio file)
In light of the tragedy that occurred this friday in Conn. I decided to hit pause on our study of James for two weeks and look at how we can find hope in the midst of so much pain and suffering we see all around us.
I want to look at what our response should be to tragedies like this as Christians. How we should think about this stuff as it happens, and how we can offer hope to a hurting world. What does Jesus have to say to us as we see parents mourning the loss of their kindergarteners. What do we say when people ask, “Where was God when that man walked into that school?” What do we say when the hurt is deeper than we can imagine? I pray that none of us will see a massacre like that one in our midst, but none of us will be exempt from facing tragedy of some sort in our own circles. It is important for us as believers to have a biblical perspective on these types of situations.
So, I want to take us thought a few brief points about our world, and how the Bible defines God’s role in these events.
- God allowed this, but is not responsible for this. His ways are higher than our ways, his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Look with me at Job 1:6-22 If God had no power to stop it, then he has no power to bring good out of it. Lamentations 3:31-33
- God can bring good out of this miserable situation. As we saw in the story of Ruth, and as we have seen as we looked at Philippians, as well as James, that God uses hardship and loss, suffering and pain to bring people closer to him and to accomplish his plan of redemption. Look at the story of Joseph, God used the evil actions of Joseph’s brothers to save them. Lets look at Gen. 50:20, look also at Romans 8:28
- God knows what it is like to loose his child at the hands of wicked people. In fact, it was his plan from the beginning. Isaiah 9:2-7, 53 Rom 8:31-39
So what do we say to those we encounter who are asking questions about God’s role in this? Well, I would say that we first listen to them, and understand the heart behind their question. If they have experienced loss, we hug them and cry with them, and say, “yes, this is an awful thing that was done. And right now it seems that there is no good that can come of it, it can look like there is no hope for the world that seems to be getting worse and worse” so bad that we don’t want to send our children to places that should be havens for them for fear this could happen to them. How do i put my babies on that bus tomorrow and know they are going to be safe? Tell me that Christian!” And we can say to them, “look, I don’t have all the answers to all the questions, but I do know this, that God is still on His throne, he is sovereign over all things, and he allows things to happen in our lives that may seem utterly unredeemable. There is hope however because he saw that this world was so evil, and he knew, allowed, and sent his own son to this earth to be reviled, to be persecuted, and to be brutally murdered at the hands of evil, vile men, so that you and I would not be destroyed by an event like this, but that we might have hope of a future with Him, and a relationship with the one who can make all things new.”
Now, lets take a few minutes and pray for those who are suffering loss this Christmas season. We all know about those in Conn. but there are people all over t he world who are suffering loss right now, and they aren’t getting the attention and care of those in Conn.