Where should we turn in times of tragedy? Billy Graham said this at the memorial service for the Oklahoma City Bombing Tragedy in 1995 and it is still very timely today… “No matter how hard we try, words cannot express the honor and shock and the revulsion we all feel over what took place here. That blast was like a violent explosion ripping through the heart of America. But how do we understand something like this? How can things like this happen? Why does God allow this to take place? First, it is a mystery. I have been ask on hundreds of occasions why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I can never fully answer this question to satisfy even myself. I have to accept by faith, that God is a God of love and mercy and compassion even in the midst of suffering. But the Bible tells us that the Satan is real, and that ‘he was a murderer from the beginning’ (John 8:44). And it also tell us that evil is real and that the human heart is capable of almost limitless evil when it is cut off from God and His moral law. The forces of hate and violence must not be allowed to gain their victory, not just in our society, but in our hearts. Nor must we respond to hate with more hate. Times like this will do one of two things: They will either make us hard and bitter and angry at God, or they will make us tender and open, and help us reach out in trust and faith.
I pray that you will not let this bitterness poison your soul, but that you would turn in faith and to trust God, even if we cannot understand. It is far better to face something like this with God’s strength than to face it alone and without Him. My prayer for you today is that you will feel the loving arms of God wrapped around you, and will know in your heart that He will never forsake you as you trust Him.”
We live in an imperfect world, but we have a perfect God who sees our pain and can bring us through disappointments and difficulties like no one else can. Check out these encouraging words that reflect this powerful truth:
– “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
– “God meets us where we are, not where we pretend we are, and not where we wish to be. Say this: This is where I am. I am going to accept. I hate it, but God is somehow at work. I don’t feel it, but I’m going to live it by faith.” – Dr. Larry Crabb
– “The Lord said, I will personally go with you, and give you victory, peace, and rest…everything will be fine with you.” – Exodus 33:14 (TLB)
– “ God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1 (NIV)