After the Paris attacks, can we really say God is in control?

Dear friends, as you will be well aware, last Friday terrorists attacked Paris killing over a hundred people. There has been a constant stream of news coverage about it since. The coverage shows the evil of such attacks, the pain and loss and the devastation left behind. It is when you see things like this happening that you can be tempted to ask, “Is God really in control? And if he is, how can he let something like this happen?”

Friends, this is a good and important question. I don’t have all the answers, but I feel we as Christians do have some.

Firstly, we need to remember that this is exactly what Jesus said would happen:

Matthew 24:6-8 “You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”

Jesus tells us that as we wait for his return there will be wars, famines, earthquakes and more yet not to be alarmed. One of the reason not to be alarmed is because despite what things might look like, God is still in control. The book of Daniel is all about this truth. God can bring good from all situations, even ones caused by evil.

Secondly, we must remember that God is a God of justice and promises to punish all who do evil:

Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”

God will punish the people behind these attacks.

And finally, we know that in this world there will be great disasters but that our great, loving and powerful God has promised to put an end to it all one day. This is the day we all look forward to when Jesus returns and makes things right.

Friends, our response to these attacks is to mourn with people in Paris. It is to pray for healing and for the attackers. But we must never lose hope in our God. He can bring good out of even the worst of situations, even a man being crucified on a cross. He is in control and he is just. And he will put an end to it all.

Chris

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