When tragedy strikes, it makes us look for answers that are not easy to find. Why does God allow evil? How do we make our world a safer place?
Will evil always plague our lives?
The sobering truth is that the answer is a definitive ‘yes’. Evil will always exist on this side of Heaven. That does not mean we must despair.
It means we should get to work.
The work I am referring to might not be what you’re thinking of though. Guns, laws, and new security measures are not the best ways to fight evil. Discipleship is.
I am not saying we should destroy all of our guns and stop caring about the laws of the land. I am saying those are of secondary importance to the relationships in our lives. Jesus sent us out to make disciples and He didn’t throw on a P.S. that says ‘stop whenever the world gets crazy’.
The insanity of the world means we should double down on our efforts.
Discipleship may seem like a weak answer in comparison to the weapons of our enemies. God is in the business of using what seems weak to defeat what seems unbeatable. In the first chapter of 1 Corinthians, He explains how this is part of His plan.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:26-28
God’s number one mission is to fight the darkness and He invited all of us to join the fight. Relationships offer the greatest power to push back the darkness which plagues our hearts and blocks the peace, joy, and love God wishes to give us.
The weights of depression and porn addiction crippled me for years and stole the joy and peace out of my life. I made my way through plenty of sermons and books without experiencing much change in my life or heart. It was the relationships in my life, the people who discipled me, who God used to break the powers of darkness in my life.
God’s desire to create change through relationships confused the Jewish people when Jesus first showed up on the scene. They expected Him to free them from the grips of the Roman Empire. He talked to a bunch of people and told them about a kingdom beyond this world instead.
The empire which they hoped He would defeat put Him on a cross until the blood ran from his body. That wasn’t the end of the story though and Paris is not the end of our fight against darkness. While it was a tragic and terrible loss, it was also a call for us to fight even harder with the best weapons God can provide.
The darkest days make incredible contrasts for the brightest lights. Jesus rising and beating death contrasted beautifully with His sacrifice. Pouring our time and energy into relationships can create a similar contrast with the darkness all around us.
While others debate and argue about how to protect what is theirs’, we will pour out everything we have to those around us. Our hope will shine like a supernova amidst the confusion and despair of others. God will use us to change the hearts of men.
Jesus’ ministry while He walked this earth did not impact nearly as many people as those of His apostles. Though relationships, those men changed a countless number of hearts. The people who they discipled spread the hope of Christ until it transformed one of the most powerful empires this world has seen.
Today, we face similar odds when fighting the darkness of our world, but we have the access to the same power.
Facing the losses of Paris is the opposite of easy. The difficulty is even greater for those who do not have the hope of Christ to guide them and give them peace. God has invited you into helping people get that hope and experience that peace.
We may not be able to go back and erase the pain and death of last Friday. We can still give hope and show the way to lasting peace, joy, and love to those who falter and stumble in the face of darkness. This is a worthy venture.
Rome was not built in a day and it was not changed in a day either. The darkness in our world has taken a great deal of ground and we will not topple it’s strongholds in a day either. We have much work to do.
Will you join me in fighting back against the darkness in our world? Are you being discipled by someone with a more mature faith? Is there anyone your life who you can disciple? If you answered no to the last two questions, are you plugged into a local church and what would it take for you to do that?
Image Copyright: Public Domainby