Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I've Got Peace Like A River"1 (Lyrics)
On December 14, 2012, the city of Newtown, Connecticut, USA, was shaken by the news of a gunman entering Sandy Hook Elementary School and killing 26 children and adults. Whenever such a tragedy occurs, it seems that we find ourselves asking the same old questions: "Why did God allow this to happen?" and "If He is such a loving God, He could have stopped this."
Some people say that guns are the problem; others say that emotional and mental health problems are the cause, and so forth. It is people, not guns who kill other people. There are people with emotional and mental health problems who don't kill other people.
There are too many bad things happening in our world today. One just has to watch the news on television, read the newspaper, or just converse with someone on the street. In addition to mass shootings, there are wars and rumours of wars throughout the world. Tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires seem to be more prevalent these days. Our world, it seems, is going through labour pains.
Mark 13:7 – When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. (NIV)
When hope has become hopeless, love has turned into hate, forgiveness has turned into revenge, and Satan is having a field day, it usually means that God is doing (or going to do) something really special. A similar tragedy happened when Jesus first entered the world:
Matthew 2:16 – Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. (NIV)
The fact is that amidst all of this darkness that has enveloped our whole society, Jesus is the Light who shines through the darkness. There is hope for our world.
John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (NIV)
Prayer: Jesus, You are the true light that shines through our darkness. Help us to shine Your love in word and deed to a world that envisions no hope. Transform our hearts of stone into hearts of love for one another. Amen.