Transforming Painful Situations

“A carefully cultivated heart will, assisted by the grace of God, foresee, forestall, or transform most of the painful situations before which others stand like helpless children saying “Why?”  – Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart

There is no more painful of a situation in our world right now than the mass exodus (bigger than the children of Israel fleeing Egypt in the Old Testament) of Iraq and Syrian refugees flooding into Europe to escape malignant evil in their homeland. We’ve all seen photos and heard reports that tear at our hearts. And yet while God does not cause evil, He enters into the pain and the brokeness, to do incredible redemptive work – most often through His people. Yesterday I was talking with a missionary supported by our church. He is a model of the kind of Christian Dallas Willard describes at the beginning. He is directly focused on reaching the Muslim world and here’s what he said to me, “In this tragedy we’re seeing God enter into it and do something remarkable. Missionaries have been pleading with God for years to help us find a more effective way to share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ with the Muslim world. But the reality is we often could not get into Muslim countries, or if we did get in our work was desperately secretive, limited, and always at great risk of being erased by the government. In this unspeakable crisis God is literally shipping a huge chunk of the Muslim world out of their homelands, into Europe, and as they come they are desperate for help and hope. The incredible news is that God’s people are meeting them to help them and give them a message of hope they are more than ready to hear. We are seeing young men, who had been recruited by I**S hear about the love of Jesus, become followers of Jesus, and begin to tell their families and friends about Jesus.” He finished with this thought, “We must do all we can to stop this tragedy, while we enter into God’s surprising redemptive work of reaching the Muslim world with the scandalous love of Jesus.”

About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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