Five words of hope in the face of horrific evil and pain

When horrific evil unfolds before our very eyes, there is a temptation to lose sight of the verities that ought to sustain and comfort us. For those watching the aftermath of the unmitigated evil of yesterday’s shooting in Florida, here are some words of hope to cling to. Hold them close.

1. God is good all the time.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8). “For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100:5). “Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting” (Ps. 106:1). “The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9).

2. God is near to the broken-hearted.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). “He heals the brokenhearted, And binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Thy works” (Psalm 73:28). “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

3. The delay of God’s justice isn’t the absence of God’s justice.

“He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” (Exodus 34:7). “But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:7-9).

4. God is sovereign over our pain and works it for our good.

God “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). “The LORD has established His throne in the heavens; And His sovereignty rules over all. (Psalm 103:19). “Who is there who speaks and it happens, unless the Lord has ordained it? Do not both adversity and good come from the mouth of the Most High?… Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the LORD” (Lam. 3:37-40). “The steps of a man are established by the LORD; And He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24). “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

5. God will one day wipe every tear from our eyes.

“For the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17). “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new'” (Revelation 21:4-5).

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