When tragedies happen in our lives, we try to sort through our emotions and responses to the distressing events. Despair, grief, anguish, disbelief, anger, frustration, disappointment, loss of hope, indifference . . . There are many ways that we respond when tragic circumstances come into our lives. Eventually, we'd like to find hope so we can move on beyond our loss. So where will you find hope in the face of personal tragedy?
I'd like to recommend a foundation for finding hope, a solid footing for facing your personal tragedy. When tragedies happen without a solid footing, we are thrown off balance in our lives and some are uprooted and seem to wither away. We need a sure foundation for finding stability and strength as we move beyond the moments of loss and hurt. The best foundation that we can find for our lives, one that offers hope in the midst of tragedy, is a relationship with Jesus. While it will not take away the tragedy and pain, having a relationship with Jesus can provide hope and comfort to make it through the difficult times.
In Mark 13, Jesus tells his followers that there would be difficult and challenging situations that they must go through. There would be pain and suffering and sorrow. Let me point you to two encouraging truths that can help us have hope even when we are hurting.
The first encouraging truth is what Jesus says in Mark 13:31. Jesus says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” No matter what happens, Jesus is faithful. He promises to be with us always (Matthew 28:20), and what he promises is true. Life will be difficult and the world might fall apart, but that doesn’t change how much Jesus loves you. So when you are hurting or when you don’t understand why something is happening to you, trust Jesus and rely on him to be with you through the challenges of life. Find comfort in knowing that Jesus is faithful.
The second encouraging truth is that Jesus is coming back. When Jesus comes, all the trouble and pain and turmoil in our world will end. As you read through Mark 13, you will see that Jesus knew that difficult times were coming. But he promises his followers that ultimately, things will be made right. While we must face the challenges of life, Jesus wants us to remember that he will resolve all the problems and give us a life of unending joy.
While we wait for that to happen when Jesus comes back, Jesus also reminds us what we should be doing now. Jesus wants us to keep trusting him and living for him while we wait and watch for him. Just because life is difficult doesn’t mean that we should forget about Jesus and do things that are wrong. Someday, things will be better because Jesus is coming back. But while you wait for him to come back and make things right, live for Jesus. Live how Jesus wants you to live – trust Jesus in everything, keep Jesus first in your life, follow Jesus in every area of life every day.
Living for Jesus may not make the difficulties go away. But it sure does make life more bearable. A solid foundation, trusting Jesus who is with us and who is coming again, will give you stability in your tragedy. A life lived for Jesus is more bearable than life without Jesus. Living for Jesus reminds us that we have a purpose in life and that we have hope for the future. So as you face the challenges in your own life and in the world around you, find hope and comfort in remembering that Jesus is faithful and that he is coming back to make things right.
This week, take a few moments to pray for those who are hurting because of tragedies in their lives. Pray for comfort that is found in Jesus. If you are hurting because of a personal tragedy or loss, I encourage you to take your concerns and hurts to the Lord. While we cannot get rid of the pain and grief in this life, we can find comfort in trusting Jesus to be with us through our times of hurt. And we can find hope in looking forward to when Jesus will make all things good and right.