Our nation just endured the most loss of life at the hand of one man on October 2nd, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Many are in shock as their lives have been forever altered.
How can we find hope after a tragedy like this?
1. Understand Earth can look more like heaven
Having a good Heavenly Father means that we are allowed to chose how to live our lives.
And the choices we make not only affects us, but those around us.
I had to learn this after my husband’s close friend was gunned down at work only a few miles from our church.
Lee was a compassionate young man in the prime of his life who attended our church diligently, worked with the children and helped in our sound department.
Keven and myself, and Lee and his wife ate together every Sunday night after evening service.
Then, all at once, Lee was no longer with us.
Questions bombarded my mind.
“Where were the angels? What about the 91st Psalm? Did God try to warn Lee?”
It took me months trying to wrap my mind around my erroneous thinking that the fact that we were Christians disqualified us from being affected by bad people.
But the sad truth is when individuals make a decision to be influenced by evil, they are not the only ones that suffer–those around them often pay the price as well.
We have a choice how to live our lives because our Father does not want mankind to serve Him because they are forced to. Like Adam, He gives us all a choice whether or not to eat the fruit of evil.
The choice we make affects not only ourselves, but many others as well.
Because God is good, He allows us to make the decisions to love Him, follow Him and be like Him if that is what we want.
He also allows others to make the decision to follow a darker side, the side we Christians refer to as the devil, if that is what they want.
It is the duty of the sons and daughters of God to influence the world with God’s nature.
Jesus told us how to pray to change the world we live in.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, ON EARTH, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
There is no murder in heaven because God is good.
Let us pray that our world will look more like His.
Then, let’s put actions with those prayers and take His Presence into the world.
Let’s pray that heaven invades earth.
2. Understand that God is good
Many people blame God in times of tragedy, thinking He should override the will of man and take over situations on earth so that harm never comes to any of us.
But, we just established, our Father allows us the freedom to choose how to live our lives.
Take hope in knowing, however, that God, Himself, is good.
We know this because Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” (John 14:19). And if you have ever read about the life of Jesus, you will know He never turned anyone away who needed Him.
Love was His most apparent attribute.
Go ahead and settle in your mind that God is good, no matter what.
If you begin questioning God’s motives, you will have unrest in your soul and question whether He is behind the bad that happens.
We, as Christians, must believe that He is a good Father.
And settle within yourself that there will be situations and outcomes in this life that cannot be explained.
God’s ways and thoughts are different from our own. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
This is not a cop-out for Christians who simply cannot explain why something happened. It’s just a fact.
He is God. We are human. There’s a big difference.
But know that no matter what comes, God promises to be with us until the end of our lives. (Hebrews 13:5)
3. Understand God is concerned for us
Stephen, a church deacon, was murdered in AD 36 for his faith.
The Bible records that as he was dying, he saw Jesus standing (not sitting) at the right hand of the Father. (Acts 7:54-60)
I believe this shows that God knows when one of His children is about to come home. He watches for their arrival.
The Bible also records that Stephen simply “fell asleep.” He was spared the pain of the rocks as the people in the crowd hurled them at his body to stone him.
Mary C. Neal, MD, and author of 7 Lessons from Heaven corroborates not feeling any pain when she drowned on a kayaking accident. She also explains she had no pain after returning to her body after thirty minutes of being deceased, despite having two broken legs.
4. Understand God’s heart hurts in tragedy
Just as God warned Cain to check up on his attitude (Genesis 4:7), it is not God’s wish that man becomes so full of hate that he kills his brother.
As Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently stated, real love is when someone lays down their life for someone else (John 15:13).
Although the Bible makes it clear that Jesus willingly gave up his life (John 10:18), there were those that carried out the plot to see that He did so.
Many would call them killers.
God knows the pain of loss.
5. Look for the Miracles
Do I believe there were miracles in Las Vegas that horrific day? Yes.
At the time of this writing, 59 people have been killed.
But 21,941 escaped.
There were many innocent people who were so horrified they didn’t know what to do.
But many told of off-duty nurses, police officers, FBI agents, and ordinary citizens that stepped in to help and saved lives.
The killer indeed had a vantage point to see clearly to carry out his plot.
But he hadn’t counted on the smoke detectors to go off. This allowed law enforcement to find him more quickly, saving more lives.
The killer was in the hotel for four days.
And no one in the hotel was killed.
Even though there are 59 people’s families grieving (and our prayers are with them),
21,941 people’s families are rejoicing they are still holding their loved ones.
Let us pray for the strength for those who can no longer hold theirs.
6. Keep using spiritual weapons
Even though, at times, bad things do happen to good people, there are angels that protect (Psalm 91:11-12), and there are spiritual weapons that do work.
“And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.” Revelation 12:11
Keep testifying–talk about all the times God has been there for you, how you came through what you have, and how you are better than you were.
Before you drop your kids off at school, or go to your workplace, plead the blood of Jesus over yourself and your family.
Keep praying so you can hear that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit that lives in you. He is there to guide and direct you.
I think the key to safety, at times, is having been in communication with the Father well enough to hear His warnings. How long has it been since you had a conversation with Him?
And though good people may die, may God be their comfort so they do not fear, and do not feel pain. Just like Stephen, may they just fall asleep.
Until we understand more,
“We put our hope in the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
for our hope is in you alone.” Psalm 33:20-22
This blog is a ministry of
Amazing Grace Worship Center