One has cancer. One is preparing for a surgery. One is dealing with the loss of his wife. Others are dealing with the loss of a whole community. These four stories, though completely unrelated, all have something in common. Each are experiencing pain, hurt, and suffering. Each are aware of the broken world we live in. Each are in desperate need of prayer, as is the entire world.
As I read about the Beirut and Paris attacks, my heart continues to break. I continue to think, “Just when I think the pain and suffering will end, evil strikes again. Just when I think someone could not be crueler, someone is more malicious than the last.”
The past, the current, and the future malicious attacks that will take place will always shake me to my core. However, in the midst of all of the messiness, I praise God. I praise Him for who He says He is. I know He is present in all the trouble of this world, as shown in John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” What a sweet reassurance this is to know that God is ever present and ever faithful. I, too, cling to the hope that this is not home, that one day Jesus will come again and take His people to their heavenly dwelling. This truth brings me peace in trouble. Nevertheless, it also brings me pain for those who do not know Christ.
Often times, I used to ask myself why bad occurrences happen. Then, one day, the truth hit me. Bad occurrences happen because of sin. In my walk with the Lord, sin can be easy to understand. Other times, it can be extremely difficult. But, the point is, without sin, there would be no hurt, no evil, and no pain in this world. Sin happens when we turn away from God. Sin happens when we choose our way over God’s way. Sin happens when our heart is not focused on the Lord, but on ourselves and the dirty rags of this world.
Although it is in human nature to be sinful, choosing to sin is our own doing. It is no one else’s fault but our own when we sin. Something or someone else cannot make us sin. The desires, motives, and treasures of our own HEARTS make us sin, as shown in Luke 6:45, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
Ultimately, sinners who do have a relationship with Christ face God’s wrath and judgment after death. Nothing but themselves and the heart that beats in them will stand before Him. No human of this earth or Jesus will act as a comfort and guide. Thankfully, for sinners who do have a relationship with Christ, Jesus intercedes for them. God does not see their evil hearts, but instead sees His Son.
I am sure some of you are asking why and when did this become a post about sin? It did the moment Adam and Eve ate the apple in the Garden of Eden. Ultimately, the events in Beirut and Paris are not a battle between men. The events in Beirut and Paris are a battle between man, Satan, and their crooked, non-upright hearts. God does not cause the evil in this world. He allows it, but He does not cause it. He uses difficult situations to bring believers closer to Him. He is the Healer from the evil. Satan causes the evil and corruption.
That, too, brings me peace and comfort in the tragedies that occurred in Beirut and Paris. God will heal. He will provide. He will comfort. He will guide. He will save us. Most importantly, He will judge those who have maliciously and intentionally caused pain and suffering, as shown in Isaiah 33:22—“For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is He who will save us.”
I may never see God bring justice to the evildoers of this world, but I cling to the truth in Hebrews 10:30, “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’” Not only can I cling to the truth, I can also help others and myself be more aware of the corruption. As a society, we cannot be blind to the daily acts of sin and terror that occur. The death toll that took place in Paris is a common reality that so many other nations face on a daily basis.
I know that many people may not believe and understand the power of God’s word and His truth. Regardless of who you are and what you believe, I truly hope you can begin to understand the loftiness and power that sin has in this world and in our hearts. Sin is not a small matter, nor should we view it lightly. Nor is one sin of lesser significance than another. Every act of sin whether it occurs in Lebanon, in France, in America, in Asia, or in our own hearts or thoughts matters. ALL sin is a huge, life-changing, eternally-defining behavior.
The moment we began to grasp this is the instant we reach a closeness to Christ that cannot be put into words. The same God that hates sin is the same God who sent His own perfect, sinless Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins on the cross, so that we would not have to spend eternity in Hell, shunned from Him forever. God so deeply desires a relationship with us that Jesus endured the wrath we deserved for our sins on the cross. As believers, all we have to do is accept Christ into our hearts, constantly repent of our sins, and dedicate our lives to following the Lord’s commands.
Continuously, time and time again, I am brought to tears at the magnitude of God’s love. I am humbled and at adoration towards the Father. No matter where you are in life, whether you are hurting or God is showering you with blessings, know that Jesus has overcome the troubles of this world. Christ will bring us home. He will repay the evil of this world. He will serve justice. I hope and pray that you know the love and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope you cling to Him in all seasons of life. It is only He who will ever make sense in this dark, broken world.