Taking Heart

I hate to say it, but I’m not surprised by bad news anymore. Shocked? Yes. Saddened? Oh, you bet. But surprised? Not in the least. In fact, I don’t think any of us should be.

There’s enough bad news to fill any newspaper, twitter feed, or TV screen. The news out of Beirut, Paris, Syria, and other hard-hit locales remind us that human pain, suffering, and death is nothing new in this world and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Yes, steps will be taken to root out terror, injustice, and more around the world in light of these past few days and weeks, but at the end of the day, people will still be murdered for senseless reasons, workers will be laid off due to the greed of their employers, and an untold number of bigoted politicians will still somehow, someway find their way into elected office.

That might all sound super negative and depressing, but take heart.

Take heart that in the midst of this chaotic time in the history of humanity, God is still with us and His people are moving to make His Kingdom a reality among the madness of our time. In response to the reactive-racism of the Paris attacks, millions are speaking up to voices of bigotry and are reclaiming the distorted Gospel message that they are trying to use to reinforce their radical beliefs.

Take heart that God alone isn’t the only one capable of bringing Good News into this world – He’s invited us to join Him in the work of proclaiming salvation, welcoming the stranger, offering the means of survival, and creating community.

Take heart that among the noise of news, op-eds, bombs, and hungry stomachs, God is still working and moving among all peoples today. No one is too far from His love, and none of us are holy enough to keep ourselves from getting our hands dirty in obedience to the Gospel witness that we’re quick to claim but slow to live out.

But above all else, take heart in these words of Jesus Christ, the Savior of all…”In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33).

 - Tyler Ward

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