Tragedy, no matter what it looks like, always stirs up a wide range of emotions. In tough circumstances, grief, confusion, and anger swirl about and as believers in Jesus it’s in these times that our foundation is revealed. When there are more questions than answers and it’s hard to see through the dense mist of pain, what lens will we choose to see the present circumstances through?

Whether it’s the events of 9/11 or yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, there becomes a swirling commentary in the media that causes our perspective to shift quickly from emotion to emotion. It’s in these moments that we need the ‘anchor for our soul’ that Hebrews 6:19 talks about.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a follower of Jesus in North Korea or the United States, the message of the Cross of Jesus Christ is at odds with the message of the culture and the result is often hardship. In John 16:33, Jesus knew hardship would soon be reality for his disciples and so he says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus was preparing his disciples for the reality of hardship but also promising them that if they remained in him they would not only have peace but they would also have victory!

This morning I was drawn to read Psalm 17 which is entitled, In The Shadow of Your Wings, a prayer of David. I encourage you to read the whole thing yourself but here are the opening two verses:
Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
From your presence let my vindication come!
Let your eyes behold the right!

As the psalmist continues his lament over hardship he stays firmly anchored to what he knows of the character of God. He knows these things because he has heard the stories of God’s working in the past and has experienced them in the present. And so in verse 6 he can confidently say, “I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;” His understanding of God’s character, God’s very nature is his anchor during the present times of hardship as he anticipates the faithfulness of God in the future.

As we process the reality of what happened yesterday in Boston and encounter new trials and hardships in the future, it’s important that we remember that God always hears and answers our prayers. So let’s pray through our pain and confusion knowing that God hears us and will answer. Let’s pray also for justice and righteousness knowing that God hears us and will answer. Through prayer our perspective for seeing and reacting to our present circumstance becomes anchored in our God who is faithful.

Our God who has always heard us and who always answers.

For additional scriptures check out:
Genesis 21:15-21
Exodus 3:7-8
Daniel 10:12
James 5:13-18