But neither psychological analysis nor heightened security can avert these human tragedies. It is the nature of our fallen world, where we live daily in the presence of sin, that evil occurs. And until we let God have a place in a world and allow Him transform us into the people of peace that He created us to be, there will be more lost souls perpetrating crimes against their neighbors, creating collateral damage that horrifies us for a time and stirs politicians; but does not help us live more confidently.
What we need first is a little hope. And news organizations and politicians need to lift up the hope that is brought to the surface by the people who quietly go about being instruments of peace and agents of hope even when all hell is breaking loose.
The Christian faith reminds of the vital nature of hope. These verses come to mind:
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” – Romans 5.5
” … but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40.31
The first verse speaks to the hope that we have because we know nothing can separate us from the love of God. That love sustains and strengthens and helps us keep on keeping on in a world such as ours.
The second verse reminds us that armed with this hope we will be able to rise above everything that comes our way and still be the people of dignity and integrity and grace that God created us to be. We need not sink in the mire when we have God working in and through us.
It reminds of the story Corrie ten Boom told after the hell that was a concentration camp,. Her sister Betsy was dying, a victim of that brutality. But Betsy was a woman of hope who knew that this world was not all there was. She told her sister, “You must survive. You must survive and tell them that there is no pit so deep that God is not deeper.”
In this time, we need the hope of God–not to deliver us from every tragedy, but to help us rise above the tragedy that inhabits life in a fallen world and thrive in Christ.