Saturday, January 15, 2011

When a Nation Grieves.

Came across this blog by Jonathan Falwell speaking to how we as Christians should respond to a crisis such as the shooting in Arizona.  He is right on in his thoughts. 

Certainly no one in our nation has been left untouched by last week’s dreadful shootings in Tucson that left six dead and 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, wounded.

During times such as these, our hearts cry out for those whose lives were cut short, for those whose lives have been forever altered, and for the families affected by the senseless tragedy.

As Christians, we mourn because it is a natural thing to do.

R.C. Sproul, writing in “The Dark Night of the Soul,” stated, “We are told that it is perfectly legitimate for believers to suffer grief. Our Lord Himself was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Though grief may reach to the roots of our souls, it must not result in bitterness. Grief is a legitimate emotion, at times even a virtue, but there must be no place in the soul for bitterness.”

We have seen some bitter words in the media and on the Internet following the Arizona shooting. People tend to want to blame those with whom they disagree politically or socially for being a root cause of the violence. But as R. C. Sproul notes, Christians have no business operating in resentment.

So then, what is to replace any bitter thoughts that may creep into our hearts?

Quite simply: prayer.

But what can we pray for at a time like this?

There are several things on which we can focus our prayers. Let’s take a look at some of them.

1. Pray for godly comfort to those who have needlessly suffered in Tucson. If anyone knows about suffering, it is Jesus. We need to pray that the comfort of heaven will touch those who continue to hurt.

2. Pray that many people in our nation will see their need for Almighty God in their lives because of this tragedy. During wars, natural disasters and even pointless shootings, people tend to think about their own mortality and what lies beyond this life. Christians should pray that God provides them genuine opportunities to speak for Him to those who have been troubled by the Tucson killing spree.

3. Pray that our nation will collectively see its need for God. During the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and in other historic times of calamity, people in our nation understood the need for America to be on its knees before God. Sadly, our culture has become much more secularized in the past half-century. That’s why it behooves God’s people to be constant adherents of II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (NKJV).

4. Finally, pray for wisdom. With attacks flying left and right, Christians need to reflect the wisdom of their Savior at all times. As I noted, people often seek answers at times like these. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, cannot afford to be immersed in hypocrisy, anger or blame-throwing which leaves a sour taste in people’s mouths. I urge all of my readers to constantly seek God in your life so that you are a walking testament to what God can do in the life of one who follows Him.

Please join me in prayer regarding these four important items. God is perpetually calling out to His people to offer His hope to a hurting world. As we continue to live out the maxim, “Not I, but Christ,” we must be ever vigilant, ever prepared to obediently speak out for Jesus Christ to those who are searching for answers.