School shootings. Syrian refugee crisis. Domestic violence. Innocent people getting killed in American streets. Bullying. The list goes on and on. So much darkness. It seems like every single day we’re hearing stories of people (adults and children) suffering, hurting, and dying. How do we make sense of it all? Can we make sense of it all? Our hearts break at each news report. We wonder what has come of our nation and our world. How could this happen?

We can blame all kinds of internal and external factors that would drive a person to commit heinous crimes. We could list any number of things. But at the end of the day, while all of those known and unknown factors may contribute, the only explanation that explains every harmful act every single time is the brokenness due to the sin in our world.

Sin entered the world when the first man and woman disobeyed God. Since that day, all of humanity has been plagued by sin. Listen to how Romans states it:

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned–for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.” Romans 5:12-13

Every single human is “prone to wander…prone to leave the One I love” (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing). We all have “sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We look around and can easily see the evil the world. But we can also look inside and see the evil in our own hearts. It’s discouraging and can make us feel hopeless.

But we are not to despair! Jesus reminds us in John 16:33,

“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 has conquered all sin. Jesus has already won the war. We are here, waiting in hope for the day that He will come and once and for all end the war that has been raging for thousands of years. He is the Victor, the Champion. And those yoked with Him will declare victory along with Him. We are able to press on amidst tragedies, senseless acts of violence and hate, and personal trials because of Jesus. He is the Light of the world, and those of us in Him have the unique opportunity to be beacons of light in a world that at times seems overcome with darkness. John 1:5 reminds us that, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Just as the darkness in a pitch black room cannot consume the flickering light of even the smallest candle, the darkness around us will never be so great as to consume the Light of the World.

Do not let the brokenness in the world overwhelm you and make you feel frozen in fear and inactivity. We should ask the Lord how we can shine His light to a broken and hurting world and then do it. Pray for those afflicted. Offer practical help when possible. And share the gospel of hope to a world in such desperate need of it. It may seem like we are fighting an uphill battle against the evil and darkness. But we are not fighting alone.

Pressing on in faith, Jennifer