What has happened in Paris is terrible. It’s heartbreaking. Anytime evil attempts to prevail and lives are taken, it’s crushing. When these moments take place, people question things. People question God.
We started receiving comments immediately upon the news breaking of terrorism happening in Paris.
- “Don’t you DARE bring your religion into this. That’s what they did. Religion is RESPONSIBLE for this, ignoramus.”
- “This is too little to late, God is deaf, or dead.”
We can’t cover every situation when it comes to tragedy within a single blog post, but what we can do, is talk about the Christian response within the face of tragedy. Whether it’s Paris or anything else, followers of Jesus can be sure of their response when these moments happen. Let’s start with the actual problem, followed by 2 responses.
The Problem With Sin
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
The Bible teaches that all have sinned. Every, single, one of us, have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. What we see on earth today is not always the picture of God’s glory. Our world is drenched in sinful ways and sinful thinking that pollutes what God had originally planned. When we question God, it might be worth it to consider maybe we don’t have a true understanding of God in the first place.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
Not only is everyone sinful, but we all have an enemy. Our enemy is always looking for someone to devour, is a liar, a thief, is cruel, and shows no mercy.
Sin is the reason for tragedy.
While that may sound dark and depressing, it’s helpful to know who we really are and what state we are really living in day to day. That gives us our backdrop to understand why the “Good News” is REALLY Good News.
We Respond By Serving And Loving Our Neighbors
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45
The Good News is Jesus Christ. Being as sinful as we are, there’s no way we could have a relationship with a perfect God. We need something to bridge the gap for us to make a way to God. Jesus bridged that gap.
The fact that Jesus came, lived a perfect life, died on the cross taking on penalty for all of our past, present, and future sins, and then rose from the dead defeating death and sin in victory is AMAZING. Let’s not forget what Jesus has done for us, for those who have decided to surrender their life to Him and follow Him.
As the Bible teaches, Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. He gave His life for us which is the best model we could ever have for how we are to love others here on this earth.
“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
We were all in tragedy at some point when we were separated from God. For those who believe and follow Jesus, He has saved us for all eternity. So when tragedy strikes, we confidently love and serve others because Jesus did that for us. When tragedy strikes, we give hope to the broken world. When tragedy strikes, we shine like a light in darkness.
We Respond By Praying For Our Enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” – Matthew 5:43-44
This response might be the most difficult for us in times of tragedy, but we need to remember…we’ve all been enemies of God before. He surely didn’t give up on us or hate us. In fact, He died for us.
We need to desperately pray for our enemies. Not to justify their sinful actions, but for them to stop what they are doing and see there’s a better way (just like we needed to see in the past as well). We need to pray for them to see Jesus and for God to rescue them out of the domain of darkness and transfer them to the kingdom of His beloved Son, where redemption and forgiveness of sins can be found (Colossians 1:13-14).
Praying for our enemies can’t belittle what has happened to the victims either. As we pray for our enemies, we love and serve others with compassion to remind them that The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).
Let’s remember in the face of tragedy that God is still on His throne. He is still in control. He is still good. This is why we minister to others.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Here are Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.