It has been almost three days since the cowardly, and senseless acts of war in Paris that claimed the lives of 129 (currently confirmed) and left more than 350 innocent wounded, and I’m still stunned. I’m awestruck by hatred, and the reckless abandon by which it was thrown about by radical Islamic terrorists, in France that night.
Considering the source, I shouldn’t be surprised at the response published by satirical, and self-proclaimed atheist French publication Charlie Hebdo, in their statement: Friends from the whole world, thank you for #PrayForParis, but we don’t need more religion. Our faith goes to music! Kisses! Life! Champagne and Joy! #ParisIsAboutLife.
Not surprised, but still in shock.
In times like these, maybe it’s easier, or more convenient, to put one’s faith into things such as music, affection, food and drink…tangible items that make us feel good. In of themselves, those things aren’t necessarily wrong, and I’d be willing to bet that Paris offers the best in some of those items specifically. But personally, I think the sentiment is a cop out, cowardice. Additionally I would ask, “When the music stops playing, and when the wine runs out—where is you faith, then?”
We recently got to spend some time with Natalie Grant, as she will be featured on the cover of our December 1, 2015 edition of CCM Magazine. She mentioned that 1 Peter 5:10 is just one verse of scripture she has held tightly to in her life—verses 8-10 (ESV): Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Friends, don’t give up the faith. No one, including the God-breathed Word itself, said that following Christ is going to be a cupcake party. There will be suffering, but God has promised us restoration, confirmation, strength—and will establish His order out of our chaos. Have faith!