Hope in The Midst of Tragedy

We are all very aware of what happened on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The whole nation feels for those who lost loved ones during this horrible event. I had trouble sleeping Friday evening because I kept on thinking about what it would be like to be in the shoes of those who lost their child or loved one in such a horrific event. The whole “put yourself in their shoes” statement does not even scratch the surface. Whenever we say that we cannot imagine the pain and grief going on inside of so many of these people, the truth is that we really can not. In fact, we can not get anywhere close. This bothers me because I wish that I could grieve with them more. I wish that there was something I could do to lessen the burden on these people. I have continued to follow the investigations as they unfold as many are working to uncover more of this story, but I can not comprehend the horrific events that occurred. The grief and pain is like a dark cloud over me, but I know that for so many the pain seems like it will never leave. We must continue to pray for these people that God would comfort them during this hard season.

I just took a class called “social problems” this semester and my textbook touches on a lot about crime and murder. I enjoyed the class a lot but it was unfortunate that every problem in the book is looked to be solved without even addressing the spiritual realm. My textbook gets to the surface of things but one can only dig so deep if there is no such thing as a spiritual life. According to my textbook, Mass murderers are almost all men and most of school shootings involve young men who have experienced rejection by their peers. These young men always have access to guns and many of them are gun collectors. All of these young men are emotionally distraught in some way. These mass murderers find there way in a place where people expect to be safe and begin expressing the darkness of their hearts by taking the lives of individuals that never expected their life to end so soon. My book goes into what conservatives tend to believe whenever it comes to gun laws and it also looks into the liberal view. The Conservatives would point to the 2nd amendment to the U.S constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to “keep and bear arms.” The people who support gun control will say that the presence of a gun in their home is going to discourage violent crime. Conservatives argue that taking guns out of law-abiding people does not take guns from criminals. With that being said, many liberals tend to claim that gun laws need to be created so that guns are harder to get. It is noted that about 35% of U.S homes have one or more guns. Liberals say that many of these guns can easily end up in the hands of a criminal. just like any other social problem that anybody could argue about, no matter how far on the left one is or how far on the right one is, the truth is that this world is always going to have problems because there is something drastically wrong with our souls. Individuals make up a society and individuals need Jesus. The country takes prayer out of schools, people stop fighting for their marriages, and then whenever disaster strikes, we are quicker to blame God than we are to recognize the evil among us. I am not saying that God allowed this to happen simply because we have taken prayer out of schools and couples have stopped fighting for their marriages, I’m saying that there is a war going on in the spiritual realm that this country is not addressing. People of the world do not take this into account. People who love the world and do not call Jesus “Lord” will never recognize and see spiritual significance in prayer when it comes to spiritual warfare.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12. This passage constantly speaks to me. It speaks to me about how the enemy catches us off guard. He tries to rock us asleep so that he can pounce on us whenever we least expect it. He wants to isolate EVEN CHILDREN and influence their thinking and take advantage of their emptiness and hurt by leading them to do something horrific.

What the enemy wants all of us to do is argue about the surface level politics without addressing the issues in our souls. He wants people to get on facebook, twitter, and every other social media site and take a stance on one side without addressing the problem going on in the soul. The enemy wants our minds to be consumed in everything but Jesus. The enemy does not want families to begin praying together. The enemy does not want husbands and wives to be praying daily for their spouse. The enemy does not want people to go to bed with forgiving hearts. The enemy does not want conflict to be solved. The enemy does not want parents and children to choose to love each other. The enemy does not want us to hear and believe the words of the Bible whenever it says “Do not even give the enemy a foothold”(Eph 4:26-27). The main thing that the enemy does not want is for people to realize how active he is in our lives. He does not want us to be fighting in the spiritual realm with faith that Jesus will work in our midst. The enemy never wants us to see him just how the scripture portrays him. He does not want to be known as the one who disguises himself in our midst and pounces on us whenever we are not focused. He never wants us to take every thought captive and hold it up to the word of God and begin looking at it from there. The enemy never wants to be known as the one who steals, kills and destroys. He would rather watch us be complacent and simply point our finger at God whenever things go wrong. God’s people simply have to regard the enemy just as the scriptures do and stop sitting around as if we are not called to war. The war is about love. It is about finding dark, lost, burdened and weak souls and calling them home. In the spiritual realm, we are so quick to put our gear on but nobody wants to go out into the war zone. We say that we must put on Jesus but so quickly we lose our steps and put back on our selfishness. We are constantly getting distracted by the media, the conflict and the arguments instead of praying and working our legs to love like Jesus.

Adam Lanza’s motives for his actions are impossible to diagnose if we take the enemy and sin out of the picture. The enemy used all of the pain and hurt that was gained through Adam’s life and isolated him and got a foothold in his life and led him to do something that is absolutely horrible. Adam chose to do what he did because he was a lost soul who was highly influenced by evil. I heard a reporter say that his older brother had not even talked to him in years. Every business has a manager and whenever that manager is not solving problems and money is getting lost, that manager is fired. Another person comes to manage the business and addresses a problem that the previous leader did not address and that manager continues to keep his job until there is something that another new manager must come in and address. The cycle keeps going. I feel that America keeps on going through this cycle where everything gets looked into at the surface level and we are so unaware of just how much of a spiritual war we are in. If we do not do something about our spiritual sickness then our symptoms will continue to show. If we continue to look to a man to bring us into a perfect society, we will constantly be let down. Things will be ugly on this side of eternity, but we must shine the light of Jesus here until it is time to go live in that perfect soceity that Jesus has prepared for us. This world is never going to be perfect, but we are redeemed people who need to live like that is true. Technology has advanced, but our ability to solve the problems in our soul has not. Jesus is our hope.

Whenever Jesus says “What good is it to gain the whole world but lose your soul?” (Mark 8:36), it helps us think about how Adam Lanza was not able to take the soul’s of these beautiful children. The enemy worked and brought out a horrible outcome, but in the end, Jesus has won the war and that is where we must put our hope and shine that hope in the midst of this dark world. If we take it upon ourselves to not look to in ourselves so much than we would make so much more progress. The gospel is about how Jesus did everything for us so that we could know him and be his children who are empowered to do even greater things. This means that we pray with power, authority, and our legs get moving as a result of what he is doing in our hearts. Instead of allowing the enemy to have a dominoes effect in our families and relationships, lets let Jesus bring a dominoes effect to our lives that adds all things whenever we seek first His Kingdom. This means that we are aware of the spiritual war going on around us and we hold on to each other, repent of our sins, and shine as much light as we can before it is time for us to go home where the pains and tragedies of this world will be no more. We can not let sports, pinterest, TV, movies, instagram, activities, and society define life for us and distract us from what matters. These things are not evil in of themselves, but they become road blocks whenever we are not praying or thinking about ways that we can love the people around us and show them Jesus. We must love God and love people, especially those who are hard to love. We must wake up in the mornings and focus as if we are actually in a spiritual war (because we really are) and deny ourselves and follow Jesus. All of the longings in our hearts that our never satisfied are longings that only Jesus can satisfy. Let’s walk with each other and mourn with those who are mourning and allow the Holy spirit to do a work in our hearts and wake us up to the war going on that is unseen. The enemy wants to kill, steal, and destroy and numb all of our soul’s until he can pounce and kill. He is wearing a camouflage jacket but if we are walking with Jesus the enemies outfit is nonsense. Love is our greatest weapon. Let’s walk on this side of eternity for the one who endured the cross for the joy set before Him. In the midst of tragedy, lets push people to see the bigger picture where Jesus has won and death has been defeated and people are evil and lost without Chrsit. Let’s mourn with those who are mourning and pray that God would bring good out of such a horrible happening.

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