Ministry Resources

When Tragedy Strikes… What to do When you Feel Helpless

Author: Angela Craig

I have spent the weekend trying to make sense out of another mass shooting. But I can’t.

I am gutted. In one teacher’s words: “I am dizzy, lost. I feel eviscerated by some emotion — some combination of genuine shock and conditioned resignation, of heart shaking grief and impotent rage — that I cannot find a word for.” I may not be able to find a word, but God has many.

Here is my response: Stand in love, not in fear!

Stand in love, not in fear.

I do not fear a bullet to the head. I fear an eternity without Jesus by my side.

Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

I fear a world who responds to evil with evil instead of action, love, and forgiveness.

Romans 12:9 “Let love be without hypocrisy Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.”

I fear a world that can’t put down their pride, their egos, and their personal rights to come together for the common good of humankind.

Philippians 2: 3 (ERV) “In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves.”

Micah 6:8 (NAS)
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

I fear churches that consume instead of contribute; who judge instead of accept; who close themselves off to God’s call to restore the brokenness of humanity with the good news of Christ, a kind & loving word, and an extended helping hand.

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 25: 35-36 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’”

Matthew 10:6-10 (Message) “Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously…YOU ARE EQUIPPED!”)

What then shall we do?

  • Lead Fearlessly
  • Love Intensely
  • Encourage Often
  • Help the Hurting
  • Act Kindly
  • Defend the Innocent
  • Believe for the Broken
  • Pray without Ceasing
  • Serve with Intention
  • Invite Someone In

It is easy to feel paralyzed by tragedy and conflict that seems to have no answer, no end, and no foreseeable change. But we must remember that we are not in this alone. In God’s economy, our weakness becomes strength when we turn to Him for help.

2 Corinthians 12: 9 (NLT) “He answered me, “I am all you need. I give you My loving-favor. My power works best in weak people.” I am happy to be weak and have troubles so I can have Christ’s power in me.”

We must stand together in love, prayer and action. When we do, the world will change.

Never forget: You are not helpless and you are not alone to fight this battle! God is with us!

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