6 Reasons to Have Hope After Tragedy

American flagOur 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


God Shared His Heart

Some time ago at Amazing Grace Worship Center, God shared His heart with Pastor Keven and me.heart

It all began when a young adult I had worked with expressed difficulty in their marriage.

We spoke a couple times regarding it, and I thought everything was on the mend.

I mentioned to my husband, Pastor Keven, that we should consider having a marriage conference at AGWC, but truthfully, he was concerned of the attendance.  We certainly did not want to invite speakers only to have a few people attend.

Several months later this couple that had experienced difficulty divorced.

I wondered if we had hosted the marriage conference if that marriage could have been repaired.  That was enough.

Keven and I booked the only two people we knew that did marriage conferences, Jeremiah & Jean Castille of Stille Married Ministries.

Jeremiah & Jean Castille

We had a fantastic turnout!

And after surveying those who attended, it was clear couples (and singles who attended) wanted to learn more about investing in the person they intend to spend the rest of their life with.

Meanwhile, Keven and I continued to pray and fast about what God’s heart was for AGWC.

Where did He want us to focus?

What did He want us to put our energy into?

I began to have a strong sense to invest in families, but I explained to Keven that I didn’t even have a clue where to begin.

After speaking with people who were struggling in new marriages, in second marriages blending families, and even people who had been married 30+ years, we realized the marriage was the place to concentrate.

If the enemy can find a way in under the spiritual covering of the husband and wife, then the rest of the family will suffer.

And so we put our focus into building strong families.

A wonderful couple who attended AGWC nearly 16 years ago began attending and

David & Michelle McKinley

explained God had sent them back to AGWC to invest the talents they had learned.

Catching up, we found they had been in marriage coaching the last 10 years, and they expressed a desire to bring their expertise to AGWC.

God was already sending us the tools we needed to help build strong families.

And so, we are very excited to announce the new ministry at AGWC

Amazing Marriages

Let me tell you how it works:

  1. Couples visit the church website at www.amazinggracewc.org and click the Connect tab, then Amazing Marriages Marriage Coaching to learn more about the program.
  2. Should you decide to participate, you may click this link now:  http://www.amazinggracewc.org/amazing-marriages-coaching/ to submit your application.
  3. The application is received by our Marriage Ministry Directors, David & Michelle McKinley who will contact the couple concerning coaching.

It’s very private and very simple.

Ministries such as Amazing Marriages tend to fill up quickly and we expect a waiting list to form very soon.

If you or someone you know could benefit from this ministry, please feel free to apply or share the information.

They may also contact amazingmarriages@amazinggracewc.org for more information.

We are so excited that God has shared what is on His heart for His people, and we are working diligently to build stronger families.

Other steps we are taking is to hold a Fall Family Intersection Series on Wednesdays at 7 pm during October of this year.  Some of the topics include:

  • Being a Spiritual Covering as a Husband and Wife
  • How to Pray for Your Spouse
  • The Single Life
  • Leading Generationally, the Grandparent’s Perspective
  • The 5 Love Languages based on the best-seller by Gary Chapman

Families are so worth the invest.  After all, God invented them.

In the very beginning of the Bible, after God’s beautiful creation, it was not complete until Adam and Eve became the first family.

God’s original design for families is reflected in Genesis 1:28:

“Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it’.”

God’s plans for families is still the same.  We are to be strong families that enlarge and spread God’s presence all over the earth.

Since the beginning the enemy has been attempting to divert families from God’s plan for them.

At AGWC, we are getting busy to keep God’s plan on track for families as we bring hope, healing and restoration to marriages with our new Amazing Marriage Coaching Ministry.

A ministry of

Amazing Grace Worship Center

Amazing Grace Worship Center