As I stared at my television screen, watching unbelievable chaos before my eyes, I grappled with understanding why such darkness had invaded our school grounds. When I was a teenager, the thought of a mass shooting occurring during chemistry class never crossed my mind. I was worried about passing the periodic table exam not dodging bullets. We had tornado drills not lock-down procedures. How did we get to this place in America?
Somewhere in time, a nineteen-year old boy believed lies, embraced darkness, and the end result was death.
The end result of sin is always death.
Last Sunday a precious family, a young husband and wife who was pregnant with their soon to be born baby, was killed by a drunk driver. When they got in their car to drive home that night, they didn't imagine it'd be their last moments together. Yet once again, another young man, twenty-six years old to be exact, believed lies, embraced darkness, and the end result was death. Now, he sits in a jail cell, haunted by shame.
Lies and darkness have always found a way to bring about death.
Where is the hope in the quake of constant violence?
Centuries ago, another young man believed lies, embraced darkness, and the end result was death.
Judas Iscariot walked and talked with Jesus. They shared stories over meals, shed tears over grievances, and sang songs to Abba for the healings unfolding before their eyes. So many healings bringing about tremendous change in people’s lives. Judas was a disciple of Jesus and part of the twelve, the elite group who had the privilege of diving deep into the truths of the Kingdom. Yet somewhere along the way, Satan got a hold of Judas’ heart and everything changed. Instead of following Jesus, Judas wrongfully delivered Him to His death for thirty coins of silver. Thirty measly coins that burned in his pocket, tormented his mind, and splintered his heart. Haunted by shame, Judas killed himself, while Jesus laid lifeless in the tomb.
Yet, death wasn’t the end result in that story. Miraculously, Jesus didn't stay lifeless for long. He conquered death, and His blood, shed on the cross, forever set us free from those deathly bonds of sin and shame. Jesus is our hope.
My heart grieves for these families, who have experienced tremendous loss this week, and my heart also grieves for two young men, who became the hands and feet of Satan. I’ve been praying these two find freedom in Jesus Christ. Behind their cell doors are stories. Stories of pain. Stories of loss. Stories of rejection. Stories of hate. Stories of grief. Stories of shame. Behind those bars are two young men who need hope.
Thankfully, there's no place without the potential for hope to rise!
In our neighborhoods, on our playgrounds, in our offices, at our schools, on our streets, and in our churches are stories. Sad stories where hope needs to soar. Are we listening? Are we looking for the hurting ones? Are we peering past the rough edges and seeing the brokenness? Are we removing the glasses of judgement and recognizing the person in front of us as a valuable human being, created in the image of God?
Jesus is our hope. HE is the answer to the depravity in this world, and WE are the answer, too. As hope bearers, we must go into all the world with the love of Jesus. When we do, the evil plans of Satan will be thwarted!
If you want to become a hope bearer and share the love of Jesus with the broken and lost, I encourage you to do a YWAM Discipleship Training School. You’ll grow in countless of ways in your own walk with Jesus, and you’ll also discover how you too play a part as a bearer of hope in this world.