Monday, July 23, 2012

Thoughtful Words - Words of Unbelief

Sometimes things happen that we, as simple human beings, cannot fathom or understand. These are mysterious to most, understandable by few. Usually they're painful. Sometimes they're joyful. They happen to many or to few. They leave us speechless or ready to unleash our verbal fury for all to hear or read.

Such it is when someone walks into a movie theater or a school or any other place and opens fire with automatic weapons, shotguns, or pistols. Not knowing what to do with this evil, we seek someone to blame. Rather than place blame where it belongs, we blame God, the guns, the parents, the schools, and society in general. 

Taking it one step farther, when someone says something about how good God is, we then blame them, usually the victim of such a crime, for believing there's still an ounce of goodness in this evil world.

We speak our words of angst and feel better for having someone to take them out on. Rather than hold our tongues and let the matter settle out.

Several people, including myself, have been blessed and encouraged to read the thoughts of Marie, who took her daughters to see The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. She threw herself over her younger daughter as James Holmes opened fire in the theater. Her faith in God and her courage to maintain her faith in the midst of crisis is incredible. Her faith has come under the fire of some "refuse-to-believers" who can't fathom a perfect God who allows such things to happen in life. Here's a brief example of these types of words:

I don’t like hearing people say that god has a plan for everyone... So god's plan for all those who died were to be killed in a shooting?
I’m sorry, but I’ve weathered enough adversity in my life to abandon the thought of God ever helping me out or offering me liberation.

My heart breaks for these people. Their words are filled with pain and disappointment. Hope lost. 

And they don't understand God. Maybe they wanted to once, but their posts say they've decided He can't be all that good to allow these things to happen in life.

Have you ever faced disappointment? Has your hope waned in the face of trials, tribulations and evil times? Have your words been words of unbelief?

Peter spoke words of unbelief. Three times he denied the Christ he'd followed for many years. Another man had a child who lived under the oppression of a mute spirit. He brought his child to Jesus, who challenged him. The man responded, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

I'd say it's natural to doubt our faith when it comes time to face the realities of the evil in our lives. But let us not waver in unbelief. Let us remember the God we serve, who is merciful, just, and loves us even in our sin.

Was it God's plan for the twelve to die at the hands of a gunman? No.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  - Jeremiah 29:11
So why does God allow these evil things to happen in life? Why does He allow people to die at the hands of others? Or to take their own lives? He doesn't.

Show me a place in the Bible where someone brought their sick child/relative/friend/self to Jesus and asked for healing and He turned them away. You can't, because He didn't. He came to preach the Gospel, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, give the blind sight, set at liberty those who are oppressed, and declare the year of the Lord. He came to give us life in abundance. Anyone who asks in faith receives this gift.

And those who died with a solid faith in Jesus Christ are not dead. They live in full abundance and perfection in heaven with their Savior. They have not died in vain. They've left behind a legacy of faith.

The problem is, many have chosen to deny that faith. They've chosen not to believe God is who He says He is. They've chosen death rather than life. They've chosen the evil things of this world over the goodness of God. They've selected to opt out.

God isn't a puppet master, pulling our strings. He gave us a will. He gave us the ability to make choices. And we do. Each one of us is in control of our lives. The question is, do we allow ourselves to choose evil or good? 

Many choose evil. That's why people walk into schools, movie theaters, post offices, churches, and people's homes and violate their right to an abundant life by opening fire with guns and bombs and more. This is not God's choice or His plan. This is a human's choice to take out their trauma on someone else. 

Personally, I feel that some people choose to doubt God's goodness, because if they recognized it, they'd have to face things in themselves and their own lives they'd rather avoid. Because it causes too much pain to do so. Because it would require a change. Because it's easier to ignore it. Because goodness frightens them. Because they've never known goodness before. Not in its True form.

Rather than blame God, the gun, the parents, or the victims of tragedy, think about the person who pulled the trigger or raped the child or simply fell short of the mark. Wonder why they did what they did. What heartache or tragedy touched their life to such a severe measure they'd take it out on the world? Say a prayer for them. Say a prayer for their family. Say a prayer for the victims. 

And acknowledge that God isn't the root of evil. Nor does He allow it. That's why Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Evil, the Israelites had to wander an extra 40 years in the desert, and Satan is doomed to Hell.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. - James 5:16

Choose to bring light with your words in this dark time. 

Photos Courtesy of Roberto V. and Alexander Kalina 


  1. The story of the father's belief/disbelief that Jesus could heal his daughter (Mark 9) is a consistent encouragement to me.

    I believe, oh help my unbelief!

  2. Excellent response to tragedy, Alycia. God's heart breaks when He sees evil run rampant. Such a senseless act. Praying for all those families.

  3. My heart is broken for these families, but I've already seen so many stories of God's providence and forgiveness. Stories of healing that can only be explained through God's orchestration. One girl, Petra, who was shot in the face had a bleak prognosis. If she lived at all, she would have severe brain damage. When the surgeons went in to remove the bullet from her brain, they found a birth defect. Something her family never knew about. She had an extra canal in her brain. The bullet threaded that canal like threading the eye of a needle. Doctors were amazed and overwhelmed. This "birth defect" was orchestrated by God 22 years ago at her birth. Stories like this will help expand God's kingdom, and I pray that families will receive peace and comfort through their grief.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts here at My Thoughtful Spot! I love hearing them!