Sometimes Only God Can Feel Hope

Was the carnage of this past week in the USA extraordinary? These things came at us so fast that we did not click on them. Only when someone assembles them do they take our breath away.

Consider this from AP National Writer Ted Anthony:

Ugly things. Violent things. Elemental things. Epic things. The forces of nature and human anger unleashed in concentrated form across the land. Water and fire, gun and sky, bringing destruction, death and misery. And tears.

America's body count for the week from Feb. 2 to Saturday tops four score. Fifty-nine dead from the tornadoes in the South. Five dead after Edwin Rivera opened fire on his family and a SWAT officer in Los Angeles. Six killed in Kirkwood, Mo., when Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton opened fire at a city council meeting and was slain by police. Five women herded into the back room of a suburban Chicago Lane Bryant store and gunned down by a man still at large.

You can't even fit it into a single paragraph. Here's more: Three dead in an Oregon plane crash, three dead in a Louisiana vocational college shooting, five dead and three missing in a Georgia sugar refinery explosion. An Ohio teacher stabbed in front of her grade-school students after her estranged husband walked into the classroom and pulled a knife. Across the state, hundreds of homes damaged in severe flooding. Hordes of motorists stranded on Wisconsin roads by snow.

Ponder that if you had to have been there for all of these catastrophes, you would have not been able to endure it emotionally.

The creation was subjected to futility ... because of him who subjected it in hope. (Romans 8:20)

Only God can see the evils of the world (of which all this is just a tiny part) and feel hope.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.