Sigh…my thoughts this morning in my time with Jesus. I can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed by recent events-Las Vegas, New York, and now this evil, senseless, heinous act in Sutherland Springs, Texas. My heart is breaking for the families and friends of those innocent victims. Like so many right now, my mind questions the reasons God would allow such a barbarous act. Of course, like many others, I cannot help but feel much anger and righteous indignation toward someone who would willfully and hatefully end innocent lives, and one so young as an 18-month-old baby. Speaking honestly, I actually had this thought that I hope this man was not saved so that he will spend eternity in hell for what he did. Lord forgive me. There just are no words! But I know that there is evil, pure evil in this wicked world and God gives everyone of us free will. When I see where groups of people whose lives have suddenly ended in our world, a part of me thinks perhaps God is little by little bringing His children home so as not to have to experience what is yet coming in our land. Just a thought…
My next reaction is to search God’s Word for comfort that only He can bring, as I pray sorrowful tears for those families left here with such broken hearts. I know that Jesus and His mighty arm of comfort and love and our outpouring of support and prayer are all that will get them through this tragedy. As I try to make sense of things, this Scripture comes to mind: II Timothy 3:1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” Though I find no comfort for my soul from those words, I am reminded that God does warn us of these days. We should not let these things surprise us as we are literally seeing Scripture being fulfilled before our eyes.
We can, however, take comfort in our great hope of the appearing of our soon coming Saviour as He meets us in the air right before things are at their very worst on this earth. Yes, they are going to get much worse for all those left who reject Christ. I thank my Holy and Merciful God that He will not allow His children to have to witness what is coming. We must share our hope in Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord more and more as we see the day approaching. God would that NONE should perish. Hell was not created for mankind, but for our evil enemy satan.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
This has gotten me through so many difficult times: Psalm 23 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
I Peter 3:8-12 “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”
Romans 8:24-39 “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And, of course, this is for me the most difficult to do in these times. I Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” God has grown me some in this area, and I have actually experienced His comfort and peace that passes understanding when I let myself thank Him most in these trying times. It is easy to give thanks for good blessings, but as human nature dictates, it seems almost impossible to give thanks during distress. When we can bring ourselves to do it, we can experience great blessings of grace and comfort and peace from our Lord.
And, finally, I take comfort in this: Revelation 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Yes, I do take much comfort in knowing that we will see our evil enemy cast into the lake of fire for eternity! I believe each and every one of us can say we and anyone we know has been wounded in one way or another by this evil entity. Many who know me have heard me say, “I would like it very much if God would allow us all to line up and give satan a big swift kick in the butt to help cast him into hell!”