I watched the movie Bella last night and was reminded of an important and neglected truth in most churches today. The world is hurting and needs hope. And, they will have no place for the hope we offer if it is only for the life to come.
Bella is a movie about two people dealing with past experiences that threaten to keep them from living life now. The cinematography was great which made the movie quite enjoyable. I liked the movie, but you can like the movie or not. The point I wanted to bring out is that the experiences of the main characters are not far from the experiences of the world we are trying to reach. Bad things happen. The innocent are hurt or even killed. Walls are erected for protection.
What are we going to offer these people to transform their lives?
Too many followers of Jesus are content with having their sins forgiven and have laid their own pain and questions to rest deep in hidden areas of their hearts. Sure there are sins that need forgiven and there are people living under the weight of guilt. But, if we cannot answer these questions, what are we offering the world besides medication before death takes us home. Whether they admit it or not, many people (Christians included) are angry with God. It is hard to love and follow God if you are angry with Him.
I believe this is one of the reasons for the success of the book, The Shack. People feel the loss of innocence in their own lives and feel that maybe God cannot be trusted. He could have stopped my daughter from dying. He could have protected my brother from the drunk driver. He could have put me in a family that wasn’t abusive. He could have made me less beautiful so I would not have been raped. He could have. We think He should have. But, He didn’t.
Do We Have Hope for the Hurting?
Here is some insight that I have noticed from people… when they ask you, “if God is so good, why is there evil in the world?”, most of them are not asking for an intellectual answer. They want healing from the pain they are carrying around.
O Lord, help us to move away from the formulaic to trust in the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We don’t know why all of those things happened, but we know that You are good. You love us with never-ending love. And, we know you are a redeemer. The enemy may have meant it for evil, but somehow You, O Lord, can make all things beautiful. We do not have those kind of answers, but we can bring these broken people to You for you are mighty to save. And You want them to know that yes You are good and You have a good answer to their questions.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.