Good morning! I know some mornings don't feel like a good morning, but when reminded that even during tragedy, God is still in control, we can find peace in the worst of times. However, I'm still a bit speechless (or wordless) in the wake of the tragic shooting that took place yesterday at a Texas Church. As always, God brought some scriptures to mind that bring comfort to those who may question why God allows His Children to suffer. This first scripture I want to share brought me the most comfort from John 16:33 where Jesus says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” As I've written before, in the midst of suffering it's hard to remember that our suffering is only like a brief blink of an eye in comparison to the glorious eternal life with Christ, where there will be no more sin and suffering. Romans 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." We currently live in a fallen sinful world, and God's Word reminds us that Christians will suffer and that all of our earthly bodies will fade away. Matthew 10:22 "You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved (Souls not physical bodies)." 2 Corinthians 5:3 "For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies" He also reminds us that He will comfort us and walk with us through these tragic times. He will use those times to equip us to comfort others through their suffering. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." and 1 Peter 5:10 "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." As difficult as it is, we must try to maintain an eternal perspective about things. God is so much bigger than any tragedy! What the devil and his followers intend for evil, God can twist it around and use it for His good. Genesis 50:20 "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good." My favorite scripture of all also reminds me of this and that God does allow tragedy in order to accomplish a greater good. Something larger than we can fathom. Just as my mothers early death brought about a ripple effect causing lost souls to place their faith in Christ, so too, shall this tragic shooting in a small Texas Church. Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
So as Christians, we must keep our eyes on Christ and not become fearful! Those who do not know our God, will be looking to Christians during these tragic times. If we don't trust God in these times why would a non-believer ever come to trust God with their life? Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”; James 1:12 "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." and Psalm 118:6 "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?