3 Things A Rapist Reminds Us About Living In A Wretched World

"...In his hand are the depths of the earth..." - Psalm 95:4

“…In his hand are the depths of the earth…” – Psalm 95:4

As anyone who lives in our area has become painfully aware, there have been a recent series of sexual assaults on women and consistent threats of acts of terror in local school districts. Unsurprisingly, these events are creating a growing sense of insecurity and even fear among an ever-growing number, and many have asked for my thoughts on how to shepherd yourself and others during these times.

Here are a few thoughts:

1. This is earth

The truth is that every day is filled with dangers, toils, and snares, many that have already come and many more that are coming. Any confidence we have that we are going to be continually free from the brokenness that defines our fallen world is misplaced. As the song says, “My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.” Rather than asking how these things happen, we should marvel that the “restrainer” keeps them from happening more. Believers must remind themselves of this everyday. We are not home yet. We are on assignment in enemy territory and sadness is never far away.

2. When others suffer because this is earth we should not think truth alone should quiet them.

God tells us this is earth, that we are at war, and that trouble is coming – but He also “comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4) He tells us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15). These are not just days to parade our theological assurances, they are also days to provide incarnational tenderness and comfort. The closer we are to those suffering, the closer our actions ought to reflect Jesus’ actions near those in pain. (see John 11…where our Savior shared truth AND tears.)

3.) While Jesus tarries and we live among terrors, let us be diligent to remind others that greater terrors are to come if they do not come to know the One Who is the Savior.

(2 Peter 3:9-15) Bold proclamation of ALL of our need for a Savior (not just the rapists or terrorists) is both appropriate and ultimately the primary means that this world can be a little more kingdom-like until the Kingdom comes. How we as believers live in the midst of these days says much about the fact that Jesus is the King we claim. As a brother in Christ and fellow servant of at least two of the young ladies recently assaulted, I have been spurred on by the testimony widely observed of their faith, faithfulness, courage, and other-worldly peace. Pray with me for these dear women. Everybody wants to be Daniel but nobody wants the lion’s den. I am humbled to live among the saints in this city and pray our love for each other makes us stronger, our Savior more famous, and our city safer.

Praying with you for our land and our faithfulness in it.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14,

Todd

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3 thoughts on “3 Things A Rapist Reminds Us About Living In A Wretched World

  1. Todd, I have walked alongside a very close friend going through the Shelter ministry and her story of abuse and the daily suffering endured from it grieves my heart deeply. In asking God to give me words to encourage her to know this pain has purpose, he gave me the words in the poem below. My friend shared them with her group and I want to continue to share. I wrote this last weekend before I knew of the attacks, but how perfect God’s timing is in allowing the Spirit to work in loving and encouraging one another. Thank you for your blessing of speaking God’s Truth when its so hard to make sense of the evil and chaos that surrounds us.

    ***God’s Story in Suffering**

    Your sufferings are many
    So much pain, so much sorrow
    How deep the evil done pierces to the core
    A heart that is broken
    Shouldn’t there be more?

    More peace, more joy
    More reasons to celebrate
    But instead of longings for comfort being fulfilled
    More pain, more sorrow
    Things that most would keep hidden are now revealed

    Your journey is long and your heart constantly worn
    There has to be purpose
    There has to be a reason
    Trying to make sense, leads you to cry
    You run to your Creator
    Why, God? Why?

    Your ripples are many!
    Oh how God longs for you to see
    One day in glory, He will hold your hand and look below
    How many lives were touched, how many broken hearts healed
    And all of that purpose will allow His truth to be known

    So blessed are those, whom the ripples have touched
    A strong and faithful servant in running into this pain
    To reveal God’s goodness in those ripples that began with a story
    One that started with great pain and sorrow
    And ended with triumph in eternity with God and all His glory

    God’s perfect plan has a beautiful ending
    One that seems distant, but more magnificent than all else
    Just close your eyes and know it is true
    How great a perspective you will have looking back
    Knowing that in Heaven your thoughts will be new

    You will be in His glory, you will be in His light
    No more darkness to battle, just joy not found in this life
    What a gift it will be, to have such perspective
    In knowing those ripples that started with pain will continue to pass through
    And will connect you to your Creator and your unexpected cry will become
    Thank you, God. Thank you.

    • Bless you Dori…grateful the Lord has His people at work even before there is work to do. May the Lord multiply your kind.

  2. Todd, I really appreciated you posting this a few weeks ago. I told my husband recently how much I appreciate you incorporating what is happening in our day and age into your messages from a Biblical viewpoint. We are grateful for your leadership and for serving the Lord faithfully.

    From the recent headlines regarding so many young men in our culture and after reading your post, I was inspired to write a letter of encouragement to my son on manhood, mission, and meaning in life:

    http://samanthakrieger.com/2013/04/29/a-letter-to-my-son-on-manhood-mission-meaning-in-life/

    Thanks for all you do.