Turn on the news and it’s heartbreaking. Devastating. We don’t see a lot of good going on and the world we live in seems to get scarier and scarier. It’s a messy, fallen, broken world full of messy, fallen, broken people. What are we to do??
When all we see is bad, we lose sight of the good. We wonder where God is in all of the pain and suffering, not only in world events but the circumstances we might be experiencing in our own lives. We wonder how a good God could allow such bad things to happen…
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5
It’s not God’s desire to cause people to hurt, but my how He can use painful times to bring about good, growing us and causing us to turn our eyes toward Him. What we see or experience is often hard to comprehend, so we must know and trust our God. We must know and trust that He is good, He is with us, He is in control, He knows all and sees all, He loves us, has a perfect plan, can redeem and heal even the messiest situations, and can bring comfort and peace to a heart filled with the opposite. I will say it again, He is good, He is with us, He loves us and He can bring good from bad.
Sunday night I was overcome with emotions over the recent events in our world. Fear, sadness, desperation…I got on my knees and cried out to God to protect His people. But then I realized although it’s a good prayer, and one we should be praying, it’s a selfish prayer. God’s people are sealed, guaranteed eternal life through His son, Jesus Christ. Shouldn’t I also be praying for protection and salvation for those who don’t yet know Him? Those who need Him in the here and now but also for all eternity? For the Lord to use these bad times for good, to draw others to Himself?
Christians, may we use this time as an opportunity not to shrink back but to rise up and be bold in our faith. For it to flourish and grow. May we take hold of Christ and shine His light of hope and peace in the darkest of places. May we seek God through His Word and with other believers so we know exactly who this God is that we place our trust in. He is peace in the chaos, He is faith and not fear, He is worthy of our trust. May we turn to Him when the anxieties and fears creep in (like they did for me last night when I watched the news again…ugh).
“When I am afraid I will trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
I pray we also can be honest with our children about our fears but never stop pointing them to the One that is bigger than any of our fears. Let them in on the verses above and below, memorize them together, pray together. The news isn’t getting any better and we are raising the next generation, oh how I pray they are a generation that seeks God’s face amidst any and all trials and circumstances. We can teach them that He is good, He is with us, He loves us and He can bring good from bad.
When all we see is bad, let’s look at the good. Look for God, seek His face, and let His goodness unfold through the storms. It’s where He works best and where we seem to grow the most.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear but one of power, love and self control.” 2 Timothy 1:7