The nation is numb and in shock once again at another senseless and cowardly act of violence that has occurred. Early Wednesday morning, in Moneta, Virginia, a disgruntled man cold bloodily gunned down on live TV two unsuspecting news journalists. Such evil we cannot comprehend. It leaves us numb, in tears, shakihopeng our heads, and with questions that can’t be answered. What in the name of all that is morally good would cause someone to commit such inhuman violence on innocent victims? What is to be our response when such brutal acts shake the very foundation of our Christian faith in a loving God?

I certainly don’t claim to have many answers in the face of such tragedy, but if I might I would like to offer some reflections from a biblical and pastoral perspective. In the midst of such awful tragedy the question of “Why” can never be answered and will drive us to spiritual exhaustion. However, when our minds want to ponder “Why” we must turn our attention to the “WHO” in the midst of our “Whys.” Who are we to turn to is our quest, not necessarily for answers, but for strength and comfort in the darkness of our unanswerable questions?

Man was created with the capacity to make choices, and our fellowman can make choices that at times seem to be those of angels and at other times choices that are demonic. Our capacity to choose is both individualistic and corporate and affects one another for evil and good. Sadly, too often our sinful, selfish, and godless choices and behavior are like ripples in the water affecting those within its boundaries. What are we to do, where are we to turn when the ripples of evil splash upon us?

The foundation of the Christian faith rests upon Jesus Christ in whom God has acted in history when He clothed Himself in human flesh as a Babe at Bethlehem and walked upon the earth. That God has acted continued in Christ’s cross and His resurrection, and because of His victory over death He has promised to abide with us forever. As man our God has wept through human eyes, as God He a seeks to lift us out of our sin and suffering, rather that suffering be the result of our own bad choices or as the result of the evil and violent behavior of others. As Christ wept with Mary and Martha at the death of their brother Lazarus, so He weeps with us over the consequences that sin, whether it be ours or someone else’s, can bring into our lives.

We must not forget that Jesus Christ bore in His physical body, as He hung on the cross, the very worst evil that mankind could inflict. Yet in the midst of the darkness of the worst of evil which Christ experienced He was victorious, and in His victory He provided for us Light in the midst of our darkness, comfort in the midst of our pain, and hope in the midst of what appears hopelessness and senselessness.

We must not forget that because of God’s suffering with Christ on the cross, as He tasted the evil and sin of all mankind, and His triumph over it all that we gain the assurance that God can and will be with us in our suffering and pain. God, who in Christ on the cross was the greatest sufferer of all, is the assurance we will ultimately obtain victory even though tears may temporarily fill our eyes.

P.T. Forsyth has written, “God is able to empathize with all human suffering because He has, in the event of the Cross, experienced the height of suffering…God spared not His own Son from suffering, and in the midst of suffering rose above it; then even in the most dreadful things that man can produce He bids us to follow Him in our sufferings so that His victory might be actualized in us.”

C.A Dinsmore writes, “There was a cross in the heart of God before there was one planted on the green hill outside of Jerusalem. And now that the cross of wood has been taken down, the one in the heart of God abides, and it will remain so long as there is one sinful soul for whom to suffer.”

In the midst of our heart-felt sobs and tears, if we listen closely we can hear the comforting voice our Savior saying, “I understand, for I, too, have suffered and am touched with the suffering and pain that touches you.” Our Christ is not indifferent, He is the Chief sufferer and giver, He is one who has paid the greatest price to secure for us atonement and the comfort that God is with us in our suffering. Forsyth says, “On the cross of God’s incomparable suffering is that it provides us with a concrete model of faith to emulate in our times of suffering: that of the crucified Christ.”

We may never logically understand the suffering that touches us and those we love, but we with the conviction of faith understand that what Christ did on the cross He did for us all. On the cross he took our sin, our heartache, our brokenness, our grief, and our questions; and with a holy love that can’t be intellectually grasped but can be experienced, He entered into a realm of suffering that is beyond our comprehension that we might know His abiding presence in every circumstance and situation of our lives.

Only a few months away from the celebration of the Christmas season, its message being that God in Christ has walked among us in human flesh and as a result He is able to be present in our every situation – both good and bad. Found in the One who was born at Bethlehem is the One who seeks to be born in the “everyday” of our lives.

That Christ lives means we are not alone in our suffering, He is with us. While the world can be cruel, evil, bring us sorrow, and leave us with many unanswered questions, we must remember that in Christ we find comfort, hope and His presence that enables us to continue on in faith as we wait for that Day when He makes all things new and dries every tear from our eyes.


Dr. Dan


Have you heard the news lately? None of it is good. ISIS continues its demonic march of evil in the Middle East with its goal to eventually overtake the USA, all the while they laugh at this nation’s feeble efforts to stop them. It is not a matter if there will be another terrorist attack on US soil, it is a matter of when. It matters not that the teachings of Islam underlines the destructive ideology of ISIS, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, etc that want to destroy Israel and the USA, our current leaders tout Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance.  HopeLord

The mysterious D68 respiratory virus attacking children is making its way into one state after the other. Ebola is now on US soil striking fear in people that it will spread. The government refuses to close our borders, allowing all kinds of terrorists and diseases from entering this country. As well, the government refuses to ban flights from landing in the USA that come from areas where Ebola is prominent. Whoever said common sense is common.

God, Christ, the Bible and Christianity continue to be attacked and stripped from society. Like a run-away train man continues to rebel against God’s holiness and moral order. Federal judges continue to mock the definition of traditional marriage as they strike down as unconstitutional states that have democratically voted to ban same-sex marriage. Thanks to liberal judges and courts our country continues to sink deeper and deeper into a cesspool of moral perversion from which there is no return.

Our politicians are more crooked than a barrel of fishhooks and have only one goal – to be reelected. The legalization of marijuana continues its march. Our leaders continue on a track of financial irresponsibility that is leading to a train wreck as they spend a trillion dollars more each year than they take in. Instead of reeling in spending they want to continue to pickpocket more and more of our cash for their reckless spending. Their foggy decisions make me wonder if they aren’t the one’s smoking the stuff!

I need not go on, I think the picture is clear and it is not a pretty one. We are living in times that events and circumstances are causing all of life and creation to cry out like a mother experiencing birth pangs. All the bad news is enough to send one into a state of despair. How does one cope with all the bad news that only seems to get worse?

Amid all the bad news, regardless of whether on a world, national or personal front, I am so grateful that I am a Christian for I possess a glorious hope in Jesus Christ. The Bible reminds me that no matter how bad things get, and it even teaches that in the last days times will grow worse and worse, that I am not to despair for our righteous God is still in control. In spite of man’s rebellious sin it will not prevent God’s intended purpose and goal for creation and individuals – redemption. In the cross we see both the judgment upon sin and the redemptive grace of God in the face of sin. And to those who trust in the Christ of the cross that redemptive process has begun, is ongoing and will one day culminate, as P.T. Forsyth puts it, “in the total establishment of divine holiness within the human race.”

The world sees no rhyme or reason or ultimate goal of creation, it just continues on as before. The cross is proof God is involved in the events and affairs of this world. And though He permits this world, as the result of Him granting man freewill, to proceed on what appears to be an autonomous course, the message of the cross is that the overruling providence of God will direct and defeat man’s evil and His ultimate goal for creation and humanity will not be thwarted by man’s rebellion against His holiness.

The Christian has the hope of “looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Unbelievers may scoff, but the Christian hope is that the God of all creation reigns and He will one day set up a kingdom that shall stand forever (Daniel 2:44). As we move toward the culmination of God’s glorious goal He gives us His presence, peace, strength, courage, hope, and grace for the journey. I possess in my heart an eternal hope that this life is not all there is, there is hope beyond this life for the Christian and hope for a creation that has been marred by the willful sinfulness of man.

The Cross of Christ is both God’s answer to the problem of human sinfulness and human doubt to God’s goodness. The cross is our assurance that evil will not win at last. At the cross sin was at its worst as it crucified the holy Son of God. While at the cross God’s holy wrath against sin was displayed in all sin’s ugliness, His grace was demonstrated in providing redemption for those who embrace His Son.

Christian friend, don’t despair over the signs of the times. Keep looking up, keep your eye on the sky. The sin of man cannot stop God from achieving His goal of redemption and restoration. The train of God’s Kingdom speeds on to its final destination. Will you climb aboard or will it pass you by?

Embrace Him today and receive and rest in a hope that is a firm anchor and foundation in the midst of the sinking sand around us; a hope that sustains even amidst the flood of bad news.


Dr. Dan