READ: MATTHEW 5:43-47; LUKE 21:9-11; JOHN 14:1; 1 JOHN 4:19
War. Terrorism. Violence of all kinds. In a world that’s broken by sin where these terrible events are the reality—and in an age of unending information in which we constantly hear about them—what are we as Christians to do?
First, let’s remember why these terrible things happen. Since humanity fell into sin, grasping for power and rejecting God (Genesis 3), people and nations want to be powerful, and many will do anything to gain that power. That’s the reason we see rampant violence in our world today.
So where is the hope? What do we do now?
As Christians, we know Jesus. He is the loving God who saw our sin—our power-grabbing, our violence, and our disregard for God and neighbor—and He stepped into our world, becoming human to dwell among us. Then, He died and rose again to beat sin and death. Jesus is the One who weeps with us at the sin that wreaks havoc on the world He made. He is the One who will return one day to make all things new, free from the brokenness sin brings. And, as the just judge, He is the One who will make all wrongs right.
In light of these truths, we can know that we are loved by God and that He is at work in the world—taking even the bad things that happen and working them for His good purpose: to bring us back to Himself and to restore all the good in creation that we, in our sin, have destroyed (Romans 8:18-39). So today, we can rest in God’s love for us. As we receive His comfort and peace, we can love and care for our neighbors (and even our enemies) in a world that’s full of violence and hatred.
Because Jesus first loved us, we can walk into our broken world, transformed by His love and radiating that love toward everyone we encounter. We can trust Jesus with every situation, knowing that He cares deeply for His creation. Things won’t be like this forever because Jesus will one day put an end to sin and death in this world once and for all. • A. W. Smith
• How can resting in Jesus’s love and the hope of His return, when He will rule with perfect justice, help us work for love and justice when our communities experience violence and hatred?
• What tragedies of violence are on your mind right now? Consider taking some time to cry out to God and lament these things in the space below. And remember that Jesus weeps with you.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me [Jesus].” John 14:1 (NLT)