When it feels like you are surrounded by tragedy and loss, there is hope, comfort and encouragement in God. While we struggle to make sense of the senseless, God’s Word reminds us that He is in control.

Grieving and searching for answers…

An entire community is grieving those lives lost in Sunday’s church shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX. Many in the community and across this country are feeling angry, sad and even scared. Most are either shocked or are no longer surprised by such horrific events. Mass killings, acts of terrorism, school and church shootings and other shocking, violent crimes were rare in times past but are seemingly commonplace today. This leaves many people searching for meaning, for an explanation, for things to make sense. After Sunday’s shooting there are those asking questions such as, “How can someone do something like this?!”, “Can this happen at my church?”, “Was this preventable?” …as well as “Why God, WHY?!”.

Have you been asked any of these questions lately, or ones like them? Did you find yourself unsure of how to answer?

Maybe you have found yourself asking these or other questions here recently and are in search of an encouraging word. Even those with the strongest of faith, they too at times need words of encouragement, hope and comfort. Thankfully, God has blessed us with His Word, which we can and should turn to for those words of encouragement, hope and comfort.

An encouraging word of hope and comfort…

Doctor Jeff Johnson (Senior Pastor, First Christian Church of Denison, TX) recently wrote to his congregation, offering these sage words of wisdom, hope and comfort…

How do we respond as individuals and a community of believers?
We remember. Our world is broken.
We recommit. To live like today matters and our world needs Jesus.
We resolve. To keep our focus and not give up.
We request. That God would bring comfort.
We rest. In that God is in control.
Finally, our response to this is not hopelessness because we hope in God. We respond not in paralyzing fear because we realize there is more we can do. We respond not in despair of mankind but in the hope of change because of Jesus Christ.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in us.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

~Dr. Jeff Johnson~

I pray that these words both encourage you and bring you hope. When it seems as though your world has been turned upside down and you are surrounded by sorrow, sadness and even fear, God’s lovingly reminds us that He is in control, that all is not in vain.

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