Hello, Freebies! It's not the happiest Friday for me, but it's still another day that we're privileged to see. For this, I am grateful. Please bear with me as I formulate thoughts this week.
Today's tone is a bit more surreal and somber as my heart goes out to the families from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. As a Christian blogger, I'm struggling to fully articulate my sentiments in a comforting and encouraging manner.
For many believers and unbelievers, the natural thought response to tragedies like Robb Elementary might be, if God is so loving, why does he allow awful things like this to happen? This is totally a fair question. I'll start by saying that we (unfortunately) live in a falling world where evil, hate, and selfishness exist. There's often minimal to no regard or love for humanity existing outside oneself. And, where there is no love or respect for humanity, anything goes. Imagine if we loved ourselves (thoroughly) and our neighbors equally. I'm not just talking about on your block or street either. I'm talking about neighbors like other humans (no matter the human body they're in). I'm talking about a love that defies race, color, sex, and religion. Love that cares for the well-being, emotion, and heart of the next person. I believe if we lived in a world that demonstrated the characteristics of love (eh em 😮💨, God is love), we would be better off. However, this is not the case, and not only is it not the case, but we live in a sinful world, full of evil and hate. And, we live in a world where God doesn't restrict our free will. We can do whatever we please. And because we have free will, people are entitled to make their own choices and decisions. The problem is that the lack of love and regard for humanity often leads to devastating selfish choices that hurt, kill and destroy others. Can I dive a bit deeper? As a believer, the bible says that the world we live in is run by Satan, who is described as a liar with one goal to kill, steal and destroy. The bible also tells us that this world (run by satan) is full of sin and that a war between good and evil is constantly occurring. Ephesians 2:2 You practiced such things when you lived according to the evil ways of this world and according to the ruler of the [spiritual] powers of the air. [Note: This refers to Satan, whose influence permeates life around us]. He is the [evil] spirit who is now at work in disobedient people [to God]. 2 Corinthians 4:4 For the God of this world [i.e., Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so that they would not see the light of the Gospel of the splendor of Christ, who is the image of God. This means the war is spiritual (invisible), and the villain of the war (Satan) is powerful and crafty. So, because the war is spiritual, we can't physically see it. Consequently, it becomes easier to forget that we're at war, thus some of us take a blah, blah bla·sé approach when we hear "good vs. evil." It's not until we experience the aftermath of each little battle that we're sucked back into the reality that we're at war ALWAYS.
For example, those precious babies losing their lives is visible proof of a spiritual battle. A willing participant (the shooter) carried out satan's evil plans (kill/steal/destroy). Satan is invisible (spiritual) but uses people to inflict harm and to do his job. This is called spiritual warfare. I know this can be a lot to digest but stay with me. Promise to explain spiritual warfare in a later blog. Here is some scripture proof: Ephesians 6:12 -13 Our struggle is not [actually] against human beings, but against rulers and authorities and leaders of this world's darkness and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. [Note: "Heavenly realms" here refers to the struggle against Satanic powers which permeates life around us]. Therefore, put on the whole armor of God so that you can withstand the devil when the evil time comes. And, after you have done everything you can, remain standing firm [in the faith]. The rest of the verses in Ephesians 6:13-18 goes on to talk about how we fight and prepare for battle.
A whole lot, right? I know, but you needed to read this, so you're not tricked.
Satan does his job and uses people who don't know Christ to carry out his murderous plans. He does not take any days off! At all. Now, this doesn't mean he won, and he won't! I'll admit, it looks like the devil is winning sometimes in this life, but God wins in the end.
Jesus (in John 16:33) is quoted saying, "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world." This may sound deep and maybe even religious or scary, but it's true (for the believer and unbeliever). So, what can you do? We know we're in war (for the believer), and the best thing we can do is constantly pray against evil. We can fight in the spirit (pray), put on the armor, and allow our love and light to influence the lives and hearts of others. If we can spread love to as many people as possible, that would be tremendous. We can lead by example and stop ridiculing and judging others. We can stop all negative behaviors that lead to Christians getting a bad rep. We can lead with our lives and bring others to Jesus. We can pray for the peace and comfort of the hurting families. We can pray for the same for everyone who is hurting. We can pray against the plans of darkness and love so loudly that people take an interest in coming to Christ. For my non-Christians and fence-sitting readers, good vs. evil is real, whether you subscribe to the belief or not, and Christ is the realest (yeeeeeaaaaahh). You're always welcome to join the winning team. Shoot me a message, and I'd love to pray with/for you. What do you have to lose? Last thing, being on this team doesn't exempt anyone from heartache and other people's freewill negative agendas; (look how Jesus was treated).
However, it does come with a lifetime of amenities such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and a VIP ticket into heaven.
I hope this blog provided some understanding. If not comfort, please pray for peace.
Until next time,
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