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Dear Church,
 
Two days ago, a group of ISIS soldiers stormed into a school in Uganda, near the border of Congo.  As the children were singing Gospel songs, the rebels entered their dormitories, setting fire to them and using machetes to kill and maim students.  In total 41 people were burned, shot, or hacked to death and a few taken as hostages. This incident has triggered a deep sense of shock and anger in me. Especially when it comes to crimes against children, it hits a special nerve in me. The most difficult thing for me is to look at this horrible evil and wonder how God’s purposes are realized. My mind is stuck in the reality of the present and even though I know God is good and He works all things together for good, my heart feels the pain.

Now, Satan who orchestrated this evil is not just done with this one act of evil, it’s just the beginning of his schemes – he wants me/us to be engrossed in resentment and anger. He wants us locked in our hurt chambers chained to our resentment. At this place he has us in control.  He wants our lives to be a miserable expression of our inner-turmoil.  When Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, the reason he gives is ‘that we may be sons of our Father who is in heaven’ (Matt 5:44). The enemy tells us to be angry, seek vengeance, and never pray for our offender. So, when we are hit by situations like this, we really have a choice – even though the urge may be to give up, in Christ we can grow up.  When we go through difficult times, what happens to us is not nearly as important as what happens in us

How you and I respond to life’s unfairness is up to you and me.  As believers we will take our Christlikeness with us into eternity – not our circumstances nor our negative emotions.  In Christ ‘all things’ are possible!
 
Be encouraged,
Mathews

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