I am sure that the frequent tragedies that we have witnessed in our world are fresh in your minds as they are in mine. It has taken me some time to collect my thoughts for this post as I watch violence and hate erupt in our world.
Where is perspective in the madness?
I have felt defeated. It seems that I am constantly reminded of the depravity of humanity. I watch the news and hear of horrific things time and time again. Then, just when I think I have heard the worst, something else will shock me. Our world is hopeless.
As I have wrestled through this topic and the confusing questions of “why??,” the Lord, Himself, has led me through it. It is a journey – with room for growth. Still, I want to share what He has been showing me. I pray that He plants truth in our souls – that we may learn to trust Him and His plans – despite increasing violence, dangers, tragedies, uncertainties, and confusion.
Last week, my husband and I were driving past a local neighborhood just as ambulances were arriving on a street that was already filled with at least a dozen police cars. I don’t know what happened, but I can only imagine that it was the beginning of a nightmare for those involved.
Just one more tragedy.
Just one more heartache.
Just one more act of violence.
Does it ever end?
So my heart grieves. I mourn. And if I am perfectly honest, I have even been afraid. Afraid for myself but even more afraid for my family. I fear for my children growing up in this world. I fear because I cannot protect them. I cannot shelter them from this world that Satan prowls about (1 Peter 5:8).
All I can do is pray… asking God for protection and to remove my fear… but still, the worry returns.
Do I trust Him?
Can He be trusted?
Why does He let bad things happen to those who seek Him and put their faith in Him?
Is God really good?
Over and over, my mind wonders these things without ever expecting a satisfying answer…
But despite my doubt, the faithful Father – my ever-loving, most patient Friend – He answered my questioning heart. On a summer evening last week, He spoke through my wrestling and my worry, my fears and my doubts. In that moment, He painted the heavens with a beautiful rainbow; and He whispered to my anxious soul:
In that still moment, in the peace that flooded my heart, my eyes filled with tears as I remembered the countless promises throughout all of Scripture and how my God has never broken one. HE HAS NEVER BROKEN ONE PROMISE.
His faithfulness is not contingent upon mine (2 Timothy 2:13). And not only that, but He is not frustrated by my lack of faith or my questioning. Instead, He speaks into my confusion and reminds me of who He is. Isn’t that where my focus should be? On Him?
In a moment, He used a rainbow to remind me that through the centuries, He has held true to His promise to never again destroy the entire earth with a flood (Genesis 9:12-17). And through that, He showed me that all of His promises will hold true... He remembers.
For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (1 Corinthians 1:20).
His promises, all of His promises, are yes – they are amen. They will be completed, and they will be fulfilled.
But why not now?
Why does God tarry?
Why does He allow evil deeds to be done and be celebrated and go unpunished?
Why doesn’t He answer His promises now?
Why didn’t He answer them long ago?
Why hasn’t He made the wrong things right?
Dear friends, God waits and is patient because He is love… and He is merciful. Yes, God’s righteous and perfect judgment will one day be fully executed, and sin and evil will be abolished and punished and banished forever from His glorious Presence. In that day, those who have surrendered* to Him and to His ways will live in His glory and freedom. They will experience the fullness and completion of every promise He has made. But for now, God waits, and we wait with Him, albeit with groaning in our souls (Romans 8:22-23)…
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9).
Our loving and perfectly-wise God, waits to fulfill His promises because He longs for all to come to repentance. He longs that none would perish apart from Him, and we, as the church… as His bride, wait with Him.
But we know the end!
We know that He promises to make all wrong right.
We know that He promises to bring about the fullness of justice!
We know the perfect hope that we have in Christ!
Isn’t knowing this enough to propel us through the hard and impossible seasons and experiences? If God is long-suffering towards this world in the hopes that more will be saved, can’t we wait patiently for that day and look ahead to the fulfillment of His promises too?
Yes, this world is utterly hopeless and it is spiraling towards it’s own self-destruction. But those who know Christ and His glorious gift of salvation have a most precious treasure – hope.
What can be done to my family or to me to steal that hope? It is secure because it is bought by the precious blood of Jesus. There is nothing on earth that can separate me from Him. Not hardships, not disaster, not even death can keep me from Him. Nothing can prevent His promises from being fulfilled (Romans 8:35-39). I truly have nothing to fear.
Do the worry and concern and doubts still arise in my mind? Yes. Daily sometimes. But the Lord has given me a weapon against them – His Word. In it, I am reminded of His promises and assured of His faithfulness. Because of this, I can have peace in my soul. The world may rage and chaos may ensue, but deep within, in the secret place, my heart can be at peace in the hope I have found in Jesus Christ.
He always remembers, and He always fulfills His promises.
May this word to our hearts spur us on as the salt and light of the earth to provide a glimmer of hope to those who have none. What is more appealing and awe-invoking than a person completely at peace in a storm? Jesus Himself exhibited this kind of peace before His disciples in the midst of a dangerous tempest at sea (Mark 4:35-41). As His hands and feet here, we are to be this calming beacon – lighting the way through the confusion and hurt and depravity. We are to shine the hope of Jesus and the salvation that He brings to this world.
And then, though our lives be taken… once His promises are fulfilled, haven’t we won? What then is there to fear? Jesus will have His way!
*If you feel that you do not have this hope that I speak of, that you don’t know what this life is all about or what you were created for, or if you simply want to dialogue more about it, please send me a comment or an email (see the contact page on the main menu). I’d love to chat with you!
Want to join the Heart Home and Hope tribe?
(You know you do!) You’ll get complete access to my Free Resource Library, a monthly newsletter – “Heart Home and Hope Happenings,” and other exciting insider content! Just sign up here and then check your inbox for your password!
Thanks for joining me!