The Las Vegas tragedy leaves us feeling that evil has the upper hand. The enemy of all of mankind, Satan, would have us drowning in despair. He would have us questioning God as to how something so horrible could happen. He would have us becoming angry with God. His aim is to manipulate our thoughts so that we can’t find anything to feel hopeful about.
There’s a verse in the Bible, John 16:33, that tells us that in this world we will have tribulation. Well, we certainly know that’s true. Las Vegas only confirms it. We know from personal experience as a nation and as individuals that trials and troubles are a common thing in this fallen world we live in, Yet, our initial reaction when tragedy strikes is to cry out, “Why God? How could you let this happen?”
In times such as these, we must remember :
God has warned us and tried to prepare us for the consequences of sin. After we messed up His original plan, He didn’t give up on us. He made a way where we could know peace in the midst of turmoil and tragedy. Because He knew that our rejection of Him would bring inevitable and sometimes tragic consequences.
But take heart:
Jesus not only has overcome the world but He will return and straighten out the mess Satan has made of it. But until then we must not allow the fiery darts of hopelessness, anger, or despair blind us.
May we light the candle of faith. Only then will we see good triumphing over evil in Las Vegas. It’s an unspeakable horror, yes! But we can’t let that rule our thinking. Instead we must focus on the truths of God that pour forth in abundance from the beautiful stories rising out of the ashes of Las Vegas.
One by one, prayer by prayer, people are seeking God for His strength in overcoming this evil. They are reaching out to each other to assist, protect, or bring healing, With every act of bravery, self-sacrifice, love, compassion, etc. the enemy is being defeated.
What do fiery darts have to do with Christmas anyway?
Maybe I should ask another question.
Is there anything about the way we here in America celebrate Christmas that bothers you? Whoa! Hold on, I can’t type that fast!
Yes, it does seem that we have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. So much so, that we find ourselves in the midst of a cultural war attempting to prevent us from even saying Merry Christmas in public places.
You see, Satan’s hidden agenda (Um, maybe not so hidden anymore) is to get us to focus more (a lot more) on Santa or some magical substitutional Christmas spirit than we do Jesus. Eventually, pushing Jesus out of the picture altogether, I’m sure!
That is just a sampling of the problems with which we contend during Christmas. And if we aren’t careful fiery darts like frustration, depression, selfishness, loneliness, greed, stress, or anger and certainly the lack of personal and world peace will find us vulnerable targets!
The side affects of an over-commercialized Christmas are burdensome but added to that the persecution of Christians, especially in middle eastern countries, the heaviness of such a load is more than any of us could carry and the joy of Christmas seems beyond our grasp.
But do not despair!
Armed with the following Truth thoughts we can wage a successful war on such fiery darts and reclaim the blessedness of Christmas in spite of the darkness that tempts us to despair.
Jesus came to this earth as a baby, grew up and preached to all He could that God had sent Him to save the world. He accomplished this by dying on the cross and coming back to life–that’s what we refer to as the Resurrection. When we accept that personally then we have the promised hope of heaven and peace reigns in our hearts. (Fiery darts fizzle in the face of such Truth!)
And there’s absolutely nothing about Santa or a Christmas spirit that can compare to that; much less change that.
We have the ability by God’s grace to resist the fiery darts, like the ones I mentioned previously, that accompanies an over-commercialized Christmas, and, instead, partake of the splendors of a Christmas centered on the love, joy, and peace inspired by faith in the Christ-child.
And what about the cultural war on Christmas? Do you realize that all this upheaval only serves to broadcast the good news to anyone who has ears to listen. (I call that a fiery dart that backfired)
Does the persecution tempt you to despair? Listen my dear readers, as horrible as it is, remember this–when a Christian leaves this earth they have Jesus and heaven waiting on them. For those they leave behind, this is their comfort! And their loved ones who believe in Jesus too, have the confidence that at some point in the future they will be reunited.
And why is this?
Because a babe was born in a manger!