Because Our World is Dark

In the last decade, we have seen an alarming number of deaths in the form of mass casualties alongside atrocious crimes against women, children and other minority groups.  Whether it's seeming more and more prevalent through the rise of social media or it is just that evil is becoming even more evil, there is little disputing that we live in a dark, fallen world.

We live in a world where people love evil so much more than they love good. 

We live in a world where we glorify humans for their sinfulness more than we glorify God for his goodness.

When tragedy strikes, we question His holiness.

But why?  Shouldn't we know that innocence isn't immune to tragedy?  God warns us repeatedly about the darkness and evil of the world that is still to come, yet as we see the things He has warned us about, we continue to shake our heads and wonder Where is God? Why has he allowed this to happen?  Where is your goodness in all of this heart ache?  We become so overwhelmed with fear that we turn away from Him and turn to ourselves for answers.  School shootings leave us threatening to pull our children out of public schools.   Terrorism has us refusing to travel to certain countries who need us.  Fear keeps us awake at night, drowning our peace, driving our decisions.  We begin to lose complete sight of reality and complete sight of Him. 

Jesus reminds us in John 16:33 that this world will bring trouble, but to take heart, He has overcome the world, yet we still lose our faith in Him and His eternal plan.  

Slowly, we begin to take our trust out of Him and put it within our own hands as if we can control our  own destiny.  It's so easy to do.  In fact, it comes natural to most of us, but herein lies the foundation of the problem.   Ourselves alone can do nothing. 

He is what we need and He is all we need.  

He is not why these terrible tragedies happen.  Instead it is the lack of His presence in our lives, in our country, and in our world that is causing us to fall deeper into darkness.  

In Romans 12, Peter is very clear to be careful of conforming to the ways of this world, reminding us to abhor evil and cling to good. In 1 John, we are told again to not love the world or the things in this world because the world merely passes away but those who abide in Him live forever. In John 15, Jesus tells us that the world WILL hate us but to take heart, they hated Jesus long before they ever hated us. 

This isn't happening because God isn't loving, this is happening because day by day our world is hating Him and loving evil so much more.  We. Were. Warned.

Immediately after a tragic event that sucker punches humanity, we see sparring debates over gun control and our mental health care system and the words turn to bullets themselves as people become so bitterly obsessed with attacking others with their political agenda that they fail to remember the deaths of the innocent they are arguing over in the first place.  But do they not remember the story of Cain and Abel? Cain had no weapons. He had jealousy sparring his heart; he was filled with evil and wicked ways and thoughts, and that was all the motive that he needed for a tragedy to occur. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"  And that is where the first record of murder stemmed from in our Holy Bible. No guns, no health care, just evil. 

"In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of Godliness but denying it's power. And from such people, turn away!" 2 Timothy 3:1-5. 

Is there really any question why this is happening after reading the above? Does that not sound like a spitting image of mankind surrounding our cities? The more God is taken out of this world, the more evil is let in, and the more evil that resides in the hearts of man, the more tragedies such as this we will see. God has been removed from our schools, from our lives, from the forefront of our focus only to be replaced with pure evil, selfish motives and desires of our hearts as people search for satisfaction, clinging to any earthly possession they can find hoping for a peace that can only be found in a life walking with our Lord Jesus Christ.

But take heart.  He hears us when we call. 

Someday, my daughters will encounter tragedies of their own. Some close to their hearts, right in our own backyard, others on a national level. When they ask me how to begin praying, I will tell them this: 

Get on your knees. Repent of your sins; ask for forgiveness.  

Cry out your blessings to God and that while you do not understand why this is happening, you trust him, you know all his ways our good because you believe the entire bible, not just the parts you like, including Romans 8:28 when you read it.  

Ask God to use you as a vessel to strengthen His name. Pray to him to protect you from the darkness and evil keeping you safe from fear. Pray hard for those who need Him. 

 Thank Him again for his blessings even though you cannot see them right now. Pray for the evil doers; pray they find God; pray for God to sharpen your witness to help bring the fallen into the light. 

 Then stop. And listen to Him speak. Open your bible and read 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, Proverbs 4:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17, read over Ephesians 4 and Galatians 5; be reminded of who God wants you to be, even in pain and hurt and confusion. 

 Let Jesus take the wheel. Let Him guide you down the path less taken with your head held high and fear and evil under your feet. 

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