Murder, Faith and Hope

new orleans street orangeYet again, our community’s pulse is weak.  The sounds of more drive-by shootings pierce the streets as wickedness continues to spread and seek dominance over stressed and blighted neighborhoods. As a cherished city, New Orleans still aches to rebuild and assert herself as a good place to be; but, increased crime and death rates only lead to cynicism and confusion. What on earth compels someone to put a bullet into the stomach of a three year old child? How can it be that the average life span for African-Americans living in New Orleans is nearly as low as the average life expectancy in North Korea? Our great cities continue to decay as this grand destruction is served up on a corruption wheel that would make even Huey Long blush.  We sit in dismay thinking about our immediacy and the future.

Yet, if we are rooted in the truth of Scripture, we know that God’s Word brings us not only to the past, but to the present and the future.  We are not left without understanding. God has revealed to us that hands have and will continue to shed innocent blood as long as He chooses to not fully restrain evil. (Proverbs 6:17; Rev. 11:7-8)  The tension between God’s sovereign purpose and our finite comprehension is never resolved for us; instead, we are told to trust in His providence just as in Joseph’s time – “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” (Gen. 50:20) Though we aren’t sure as to God’s secretive will we are called to trust that He is not unaware (Deut. 29:29).

If we are honest, we will admit that we struggle with this truth; however, God is greater than our myopic opinions. Faith can be blind, but true saving faith is simply well-formed.  We all have faith in something -the ultimate question is “what is the OBJECT of our faith?”  As believers, we put our trust in the Lord our God, maker of heaven and earth, of things seen and unseen. We put our faith not in chariots or mayors or human empires; we put our hope in our beloved Savior who will judge the living and the dead when He returns in the fullness of His glory.

May we be found faithful.

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