“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33
Triumph Over Tragedy
When violence hits our community or country, we panic and have many unanswered questions. We don’t always know where to turn or what to do. We may feel like we are sinking in quicksand. When we lose friends and loved ones through senseless crimes, we lose sleep and lose the ability to concentrate on our jobs, families and other responsibilities. Whether we are an athlete, a coach or a fan, we all feel a sense of loss when tragedy hits.
When Cain killed his brother Abel, Adam and Eve probably asked some of the same questions. How could Cain do such a thing? The answer is that all people are capable of doing good or evil. As Solomon said later, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
Though we have new inventions, human nature is the same as it was when Adam and Eve first sinned in the Garden of Eden. Trouble and tragedies are not new. Trouble is almost as old as dirt. When tragedies happen, people are hurt or killed, then we’re crushed and don’t understand.
Though we can’t turn back the clock, we can learn from these tragedies. We can avoid violence by treating others the way we want to be treated.
If we feel like the ground is sinking beneath our feet, then we need a firm foundation to hold us up and help us to live another day. “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). Though some questions are not answered and angry words and violence are too common among us, God is still good and is ready, willing and able to carry us through all the difficulties and disappointments. “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic'” (Isaiah 28:16).
Believers are “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). When everything appears to crumble around us, we should trust Jesus, who said, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.
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