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Hope in a Seemingly Hopeless Situation

December 14th, 2012 Posted in sermons

It’s Christmas time.

Parents bundle up their children for another day of school before Christmas vacation starts in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut. There’s shopping to do and errands to run before they pick them up. Then the worst imaginable scenario takes place.

A young man walks into Sandy Hook elementary school and begins shooting. When the horror finally stops, 20 children and 6 adults have been shot and killed. 12 little girls and 8 little boys had their lives cut short.
This is just heartbreaking.

What can be said at a time like this? The experts will opine on why this happened. All I can say is, this was pure evil. The heartlessness and wickedness of this man that did the shooting is really unimaginable.

I know from personal experience that the pain of losing a child is a fate worse than death for a parent.

At times like this we must reflect on the essential message of Christmas, which is Immanuel has come. Immanuel means God is with us.

I know God is there, ready to bring His comfort to those grieving right now in Connecticut. I know He is here right now to bring comfort to all of us who are heartbroken to hear such news.

At times like this, we need perspective—an eternal perspective.

We need to remember this life on earth is not all there is. There is an afterlife where earthy wrongs are righted. There is a final judgment for this man and others like him that commit these heinous crimes, and they will have to face God.

There is also great safety for those beautiful children, who I believe are all in Heaven right now, resting in the arms of Jesus. No harm will come to them again. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

And there is comfort available to their parents, who are in the deepest valley of pain and grief right now. Yes, even at a time like this, there is hope. The hope is this: If that parent will put their trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord they can have the assurance they will see their dear children again.

As King David said when his child died, “I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23).

In the busyness of this season, I hope we all will take time to count our blessings. To let our children know that we love them and not take them for granted.

And I hope that we will remember that Jesus is there, Immanuel. He will bring His comfort to us as we trust in Him.

33 Responses to “Hope in a Seemingly Hopeless Situation”

  1. Brian says:

    I do not pretend to understand why evil things happen. But I do know that all those children are in Heaven with Jesus. They would never want to leave Heaven just like anyone who is there. I pray for the families and friends of this horrible tragedy. An eternal perspective is what gives us all hope. All believers will be reunited and live in the presence of God. For christians there is always hope of Heaven. Times are tough but God will never leave us. In Heaven there is pure joy always with Jesus. We may not know why things happen like this but we believers have an awesome future!

  2. amy dammann says:

    I lost my dad 3wks ago and a dear friend gave me a book to read. I had already started the book when this horrific day came, here’s two paragraphs from Vernon McGee that brought my eyes unto Jesus. “When a shepherd seeks to lead his sheep to better grass up the winding, thorny mountain paths, he often finds that the sheep will not follow him.They fear the unknown ridges and sharp rocks. The shepherd will then reach into the flock and take a little lamb on one arm and another on his other arm then he starts up the precipitous pathway, Soon the two mother sheep begin to follow, and afterward the entire flock. Thus they ascend the tortuous path to greener pasture. So it is with the Good Shepherd, sometimes He reaches into a flock and takes a lamb unto Himself. He uses this experience to lead His people unto Himself, as they follow the little lamb all the way home.”

  3. Brenda Kammerer says:

    Pastor Greg,
    When these horrific things happen in the world, the question invariably rises: How can a good God let such horrible things happen?
    As a Christian, I understand that God is not the only force in this world and that we can NOT understand His reasoning … ‘His ways are higher…’ I would like to know how you answer those people who ask this question, especially those doubting God as a result of the event.

    My young sons respect you and your messages, Pastor Greg. I hope you see this and answer. I could use your teaching on this….

  4. james says:

    The world is changing from the world that I knew as a child. We see so much sex and violence on tv. Our kids spend too many hours at the computer and playing violent video games immersed in their fake world. More kids grow up in the “new normal” of 1 parent or same sex parent households. Little by little we are allowing the “world” to have their way. And look at the world we’ve created without God. But this massacre is on another level of evil I’ve never seen. It chills me to the bone. It is pure evil out in the open for all to see. What are we going to do about it? I am angry. Angry that the devil is there behind the scenes. We must not forget and we must fight evil. I pray for those little children.

  5. Claudia says:

    My heart aches for all the familes:( I will Pray for them. It is not easy to loose a loved one. Only the Lord our savior can help with that pain. God Bless America

  6. MIchele says:

    This terrible tragedy has hit many of us with profound sadness for the families of the lost and the families of the children who attend that school. Yet, those of us who are separated in distance continue on with our daily lives with the tragedy only to be a memory…a distant sadness for other people. We continue with our days with our children living in the moments that fill our daily lives. As I was watching my young daughter’s basketball game at a local tournament, I was saddened to hear the shouts of negativity thrown out by parents to the children of the other teams. The anger that was expressed by other parents because of the referee’s calls or the irritation due to perceived wrongs of the participants on the basketball court created feelings of utter sadness and repulsion especially when the parents of the children of Connecticut are suffering beyond most of our wildest imagination. As all of this yelling was going on, I sat and thought about the tragedy in Connecticut and thought: these are the moments that could affect a kid to go off the deep end. The hurt and pain that can linger in someone’s mind. The sadness that can prevail over an activity that is supposed to be fun. As I looked around and saw the faces of these adults, some happy, some irritated, some anxious, some frustrated, some irritable, it was hard to not despise and fill with anger for them. I wanted to scream at them and ask, “Do any of you care about the children of Connecticut and the tragedy that occurred? How can you participate in this event spilling out negativity for other children when parents in Connecticut will never have the chance to encourage their own, or watch a competition with strangers from a rival team? Why can’t we lift each other’s children up and give thanks that our children are still able to laugh and enjoy a simple game of basketball?”.
    It saddens me that we don’t even say the Pledge of Allegiance before games such as these anymore, let alone a blessing, or even simple handshakes before these games. Why don’t we encourage all of our children instead of only those on our team?
    We are all in this together. We all feel the horrendous feelings of sadness for these families. We should all be more aware that momentarily, these precious gifts have their innocent eyes on us. I strongly feel that this is something that we should all think about because if we don’t, these tragedies are going to continue where they will come to no surprise. May God hold all of these families in His arms holding them tight in His strength and love.

  7. Tony says:

    The peace of knowing that they are with Jesus is what gives me comfort. Knowing they will not have to see the evil of sin anymore. The sadness comes from knowing those here on earth are still subject to live in this broken world of sin, to suffer the next tragedy. O Lord how i pray for your return and take your children from this broken world to the place that you have prepared for us.

  8. Liz says:

    My heart aches for the families of all these precious children. I thank God for His
    re-assurance that we will be next to our loved ones when our time is over on this earth. Thank you Greg, for being an instrument of peace during these difficult times.

  9. Matt says:

    Terrific perspective from a man who truly gets it (Greg, not me). As you like to say, “For the Christian life on Earth is as bad is will get. For the nonbeliever, life on Earth is as good as it will ever get.”

    What a horrific event. Let’s be comforted in the fact that our Lord and Savior is with the children right now. And let’s also not forget the adults who lost their lives that day too.

  10. Larry Buchmann says:

    May the Lord comfort all of us who feel this incredible loss. The solution is still the gospel. Romans 1:16 says that the gospel is the power of God. We have the power to change the world, one person at a time. Share the gospel every day!

  11. Brenda says:

    I believe as you do that these innocent children who lost their lives are safe with God right now. They were not old enough to reject Christ or the price He paid. I wonder what went so wrong with this young man’s life that he was angry enough to do this terrible thing. Too many think this life is all there is and can’t find hope. More than ever we need to be teaching about the love and faithfulness of God because more and more suffer from brokenness with no solution.

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