Here we go again trying to deal with yet another tragic event in the massacre at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX, and that coming right on the heels of the terrorist attack in New York, following the senseless mass murders in Las Vegas, destructive hurricanes, devastating fires, and massive earthquakes We wonder where God is as we try to understand His plan in all of this. We may even begin to wonder if He cares at all about the horror, the terror, and the sorrow of those who have lost loved ones, and lost everything that they own. If He does care, and is in control, how can He continue to allow these things to happen?
I struggle to answer these questions for myself let alone for others. Even though I have no answers here are some things that I do know without a shadow of a doubt. God is love and He loves everybody even those that don’t love Him.
1 John 4:10 (NLT)10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Romans 5:8 (NLT)8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
1 John 4:8 (NLT)8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God’s thoughts for us are not evil but good.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)1 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
And He will never leave or forsake us no matter what.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
Joshua 1:5 (NKJV) No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV) Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
I received the following from “Devotion Daily” in my email today. After the Editor’s Note is an excerpt from Max Lucado’s book God Is With You Every Day. It gave me some comfort and I pray that it does the same for you.
The Lord of Heaven: Sutherland Springs, Texas
from God Is With You Every Day, by Max Lucado
Editor’s note: Again, shots were fired. Blood spilled. Families lost loved ones. Hearts across the nation broke when the news hit of the church massacre at First Baptist in Sutherland Springs. It’s so easy to ask “Where were You, God?” in such a volatile and uncertain world. Pastor Max Lucado addresses this question in this excerpt from his devotional God Is With You Every Day.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? — Psalm 8:3-4
When tragedy strikes, whether personal, national, or global, people wonder how God could allow such things to happen. What can He be thinking? Is God really in control? Can we trust Him to run the universe if He would allow this?
It is important to recognize that God dwells in a different realm. He occupies another dimension.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts. — Isaiah 55:9 NCV
How vital, then, that we pray, armed with the knowledge that God is in Heaven. Pray with any lesser conviction, and our prayers are timid, shallow, and hollow. Look up at the heavens and see what God has done, and watch how your prayers are energized.
This knowledge gives us confidence as we face the uncertain future. We know that He is in control of the universe, and so we can rest secure. But also important is the knowledge that this
God in Heaven has chosen to bend near toward earth to see our sorrow and hear our prayers. He is not so far above us that He is not touched by our tears.
Though we may not be able to see His purpose or His plan, the Lord of Heaven is on His throne and in firm control of the universe and our lives.
~For the Tough Times
Excerpted from God Is With You Every Day by Max Lucado, copyright Max Luacdo.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.