A friend and I were talking about all the tragedies taking place today, and it gave me reason to pause and ponder my own understanding. Why can't people just get along? Work hard. Be kind. Respect one another. Is it really that difficult? And where is God in the midst of the pain? I don't have all the answers, but I do have faith in the One who does.
The Bible is filled with scripture references to End Times and also states that the "prince of this world" (Satan) has many followers whose hearts are filled with evil.
Jesus said, "...a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me." (John 16:2 NIV)
This is the world we live in today. The battle is real, but so is our God. We are moving toward the return of Jesus at an increasing pace, but our hope is in heaven; in eternal life with Him where there will be no war, no death, no sickness, and no pain. Only joy, peace, love...and I believe a whole lot of laughter.
Losing my best friend in a fiery car crash at sixteen and my teenage brother in a car accident when I was twenty changed my life. Grieving the loss of people I loved at a young age was painful, but the gifts God gave as a result of those losses are priceless. Though I didn't really know Jesus personally, God reached down and wooed me. He comforted me and gave me words to write and sing that expressed my grief and my hope in heaven. Our family began to say, "I love you," for the first time and started to express that love with hugs and deeper relationships than I had previously known.
Best of all, The Lord planted a seed in me that He has nurtured into a deep faith and trust in Him. Through the tragedies of life, my family discovered what really matters. We opened our hearts to God and to each other, and we came to know what "joy in the midst of all circumstances" means.
Jesus IS coming back. We will live forever on a "new earth" (Revelation 21:1-5.) We live in scary, uncertain times, but we have a Savior who will come to rule and reign, and all will be made right in His Time.
Read Matthew 24 and Revelation 22 and be encouraged!