In today’s episode, the guys discuss national tragedies and how Christians should react to these situations. First, the guys talk about news in general and how the overwhelming majority of the news is negative. When you watch the news, you get what they put out; but when you read the news, you can still know what is going on and decide what news you receive. As a culture, our world is news-fanatic and it’s in our sin nature to want to hear about the bad news. Social media and news outlets built an algorithm that fires us up in anger. They have figured out how to tap into our sin nature and make money off it. It is important to study all sides of the news because every piece of news could be portrayed differently depending on which outlet you are receiving it from.
Next, the guys discuss how we as Christians should respond to tragedies and news. First, we should respond with lament, which is a crying out and a longing for the return of Christ. We see countless times in the Bible where songs and poems show lament. It is also normal to ask questions and ask God why when tragedy occurs. They then pose the question: how do you know God’s faithfulness unless you’re put through the ringer? It is an act of worship to ask why, but also to say, “We trust you, Lord, and we simply don’t understand.” If unanswered or unrecognized questions in someone’s faith builds up, then they will pile up and will create outright doubt in God. As Christians, we need to be willing to answer questions and walk with people in those seasons. Even though it is natural to ask questions, we also need to be careful not to put God on trial. Another good question to ask is: How did Jesus respond to tragedy? Tragedy is a reminder that this is not our home and there won’t be any tragedy in Heaven.
In addition, the guys talk about how to help nonbelievers as they walk through tragedy. First, we need to give people the gospel, or good news. You may not think it’s the right time or want to be sensitive to their needs, but it is always the right time to share the gospel. We also need to weep with those who weep. When tragedy happens, there is an invitation to speak into their lives and show sympathy toward their suffering. Constant prayer for wisdom is also key when tragedies happen. They also discuss 9/11 and how so many churches were filled after that attack on the Twin Towers. C.S. Lewis once said, “Pain is God’s megaphone to arouse a deaf world.” Pain insists on being attended to. When we feel discomfort over and over again, or it gets worse, we have to pay attention to it. This is the same thing with salvation and our soul cries out when we experience tragedies in our lives or witness it in others.
Finally, we all have hope as Christians that Jesus will come back and make it right. We need to be informed on the news and understand what’s happening in the world, so we can pray for everyone. We are God’s representatives and light in this dark world. Tragedies remind people of their mortality and make them recognize their need for the Savior. Lastly, they discuss how we all need to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but also proclaim the gospel and give all the glory to God.
This podcast episode was recorded prior to the tragic shooting in Monterey Park, CA on January 21st, 2023. Our hearts at Living Waters go out to the families of the victims. May the Lord bless and comfort you.