What do you turn to when you learn of yet another tragedy, be it the force of hurricanes, earthquakes, or tragic massacre of innocent folks? Questions arise in our shock. How can we understand it?
What is your refuge when your peace is shattered?
Whenever a major tragedy occurs, I am glued to the news. I marvel at the brave heroes who help others while risking their own lives. Actions of faith are extended to help the hurting. People assist strangers.
After the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy in 1986, President Ronald Reagan spoke at the memorial service for the astronauts. His words offered hope and comfort:
“We can find consolation only in faith.” President Ronald Reagan
We each process the tragedies of the world— the footprint of evil evidenced in the shootings or the devastating natural disasters—through the filter of our faith. Without faith in God there is little or no hope.
Choosing faith and hope over despair doesn’t answer the hard questions, but brings some peace to the troubled heart.
Lean into the Lord.
The Lord is faithful and does not change. This truth is a firm handrail to hold on to and a rock to cling to when life is turned upside down. He is the refuge where the grief-stricken soul can find comfort.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliver; my God is a rock, in whom I take refuge. Psalm 18:2 NIV
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2 NIV
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 NIV
Hold on to hope in the midst of despair.
Several years ago when I was in the middle of a season of personal despair, the Lord impressed a verse on my heart. I wrote it on a notecard and taped it to my car’s dashboard. Every time I started the car I repeated it. Eventually I memorized it.
May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the HolySpirit. Romans 15:13
Reading those words often helped me maintain positive focus instead of a troubled heart of worry. What made the difference? The words of the Bible pointed me to have faith and hold on to hope. Even in despair, I’ve known the comfort from faith in the Lord.
Real hope looks to God, believing that He will never abandon you, ever.
because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b NIV
God’s presence through the Holy Spirit brings comfort.
Faith and hope keep us from drifting into despair.
We may not be capable of understanding the big question of “Why did this happen,” but in the midst of upheaval, we can lean in to the Lord and hold on to hope.
Lord, when we despair over the tragedies of the world, help us turn to You, the creator of hope and author of faith. In You we can find peace. Amen.