Three things slowly came to mind this morning after awakening to the news of a gunman coming into a Charleston, SC church during an evening prayer meeting on Wednesday night. He viciously and senselessly took the lives of nine people.
As always, my heart immediately started to hurt for the family and friends of these victims who are now left trying to make sense of such unimaginable hate and evil. I thought about the post I wrote a couple of months ago after the senseless attack at Garissa University in Kenya. I prayed for God to overwhelm the hurting with His presence. I prayed that the One and only Redeemer of our lives would continue to do what He’s always done best…redeem this, Lord…redeem even this.
The next thought that came to mind were those hours prior to Christ going to die on the cross when He reminded His disciples of two important Truths. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I then thought of the verses in Romans where Paul assures the church that nothing…nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. This morning, I took some time to reread the assurance we have that no matter what evil tries to take away…what Christ offers us is more.
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
When evil like this happens, I’m often quick to cry out…where were you God? But then, at the same time, I think of the promises above and I know that God is still on His throne.
Jesus came to this earth to redeem the unimaginable. Jesus came so that, ultimately, death would have no sting. in the end, sin and evil do not prevail. (1 Corinthians 15:55)
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Cor 15:58