Throughout our lives we will face difficulties and adversities, but God is faithful and will always be at our side.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13).
For many centuries, Christians have wondered how it would be possible for the whole world to witness Christ’s return to Earth.
Today it is no longer necessary to imagine. When Jesus returns there will be thousands of cell phones broadcasting that glorious moment, around the world, in real time.
Because one of the benefits of technology is that it allows us to see, first hand, what is happening anywhere on the planet.
The good, and the bad. The Iraq war was the first war broadcast live on television.
And this new terrible war in Ukraine is the first war that is being broadcast live on social media.
And what we can see is Dantesque, which is a polite way of saying hellish.
Through cell phones we are seeing terrible images of crime, suffering and destruction. Romantic or epic concepts of what war means or heroic sacrifice are swept away by reality.
We do not see people who go joyfully to give their lives for their country. What we see are only people full of pain who try to defend their own, and who die and suffer because of the evil of others.
And we Christians are in the midst of this world. And our brothers in Ukraine are going through the same hunger, the same suffering and the same death as their fellow citizens.
In fact, a volunteer from a Spanish church was also killed in the massacre at the Kramatorsk station. I was there giving comfort, and a little water and food, to the refugees.
And when you hold in your arms the mangled body of your mother or your child, it is very human to let yourself be carried away by anger, and cry out to God that fire come down from heaven and destroy the one who has done this.
And like this there are hundreds of situations that push us to our limit, whether in professional, moral, economic, or whatever other issues. Issues that serve as an excuse for our human, but often mistaken, reactions.
Because our life does not exist to serve as a support for our passions. Nor can our cry be for destruction, however much pain we may feel, but that the earth may be filled with the glory of God.
Let us see what the Word of God tells us in the first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 10 and verse 13:
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
And a nuance before continuing. The Greek word used in this verse serves both for what we know as temptation and also as test.
Because just as it happened to Job, God is faithful, and He will never allow our adversary to come with temptations greater than the strength He gives us.
Nor is God going to lead us into situations that we cannot endure and that destroy us as Christians.
Rather, in all these circumstances He is going to give us a way out. And that way out is none other than to look to Christ on the cross, dying for you and for me, and crying out to God for forgiveness for his executioners. Because without that forgiveness the end of his executioners, as well as yours and mine, would be terrible. And eternal.
Does this mean that we cannot cry out to God for justice? Of course we can, and indeed, that should be our cry. May his righteousness and his fear fall upon every person in this world, whether for salvation or damnation.
Let us remember that, if we have to give an account of every idle word, how much more, he who has rejoiced in the pain of others, will have to give an account of it in heaven before God, but also on this earth.
Therefore, let us not make excuses to let ourselves be carried away by our desires or by our anger. Let us be children of our Father in Heaven.
And, in the face of so much pain and suffering, let us cry out for consolation, but, above all, for the return of our Lord.
After all, cell phones are now ready for all to see.
God bless you.