This morning before I read today’s news about the horrific shooting in Aurora, CO, I completed my daily Bible reading which was Psalms 23-25 and Acts 21.
These scripture passages caused me to remember that bad things happen. Psalm 23 talks about a dark valley. Psalm 25 talks about enemies and people who are treacherous without cause. Acts 21 tells how Paul was repeatedly warned that bad things were going to happen to him if he went to Jerusalem. Paul’s response to them was:
“Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Luke, the author of Acts concluded this section with, “When he (Paul) would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.” (Acts 21)
Evil is a persistent reality in our world. We continually battle it. Periodically it rears it ugly head in terrifying incidents like shootings at a movie theater, civil war in Syria, and girls traded as sex slaves.
Humans cannot defeat evil. However, by God’s grace, we have access to a Power that is greater than evil. The Bible points to that Power. Paul was entirely devoted to that Power.
Psalm 25 begins with, “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.”
And Psalm 23 is a great comfort in times of distress:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.