respond, last days, tragedy, truth

Tragedy is occurring all around us at an alarming rate. How are we to respond to the devastation? What are we to do in these last days?

An earthquake in Iraq kills over 400 people.

A driver mows down people on a cycling path in New York city, killing 8.

A crazed gunman enters a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, his gun blazing, killing anyone who made a noise…including babies. He slaughtered 26 people.

After leaving a relative’s home, located in one of the nicer neighborhoods of the city, a young couple was accosted by two armed teens. Shots were fired. The 30 year old husband of 9 days gave his life to protect his bride. They attended my church.

The young man who killed the cyclists with a box truck believed he was doing it for his god.

It is reported that the mentally ill gunman had a grudge against his mother-in-law, who is a member of the church he decimated. She wasn’t attending that day.

The two 15 year old boys who shot the young groom wanted money. “Random robbery,” the police said.

Tragedy is occurring all around us at an alarming rate. How are we to respond to the devastation? What are we to do in these last days?

Respond: Living With Tragedy

Tragedy…it’s happening on a regular basis now, occurring so often that we’re numbed by the news stories of death and loss. Until it hits in our home turf.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

2 Timothy 3:1-4, NKJV

Is this world losing its mind?

Every generation since Christ walked the earth has asked, “Are these the last days?” Even the disciples questioned Jesus about it!

As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray…And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains…

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away…And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end; will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:3-14, NKJV

Respond: What To Do Amidst Tragedy

Would it surprise you to know that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world? I’m not quoting a Christian magazine or organization; even secular news has taken note. Increasingly, Christians are hated in America, but they are dying for the gospel around the world.

What is our response to these last days occurrences? To this evil that lives in our midst? Should we quake in fear? Sometimes it does feel frightening.

Or, conversely, go to the mission field? Be part of proclaiming the gospel to other countries? If you are called, go, but we’re living in a mission field.

Perhaps the most difficult thing to do is Paul’s charge to Timothy…

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:14-15, NKJV

Tragedy is occurring all around us at an alarming rate. How are we to respond to the devastation? What are we to do in these last days?

I don’t know about you, but in the face of crisis, I want to go DO SOMETHING!  Point me in the right direction and I will charge! However, I’ve been known to make a few messes in that state of mind; Paul has a different message.

But you…continue in the things you know are true. Continue in the Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus.

In these last days, let’s covenant together to persevere… to continue in the truth… which will make us wise.

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Tragedy is occurring all around us at an alarming rate. How are we to respond to the devastation? What are we to do in these last days?

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is from the English Standard Version.
photo credit:
Wil Stewart
About the author
I’m a happy wife, loving mom of 3, and adoring grandmother of 6, and owner of an adorable Cocker Spaniel. I began blogging in 2016, when, in the midst of completing a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, I began radiation treatment for breast cancer. It became a good outlet for me to connect with other survivors and a good way to let friends and family know what I was experiencing.

Life is a journey full of interesting, surprising, heartbreaking and fun things.

Comments (28)

  1. Yes! So many people take Jeremiah 29:11 out of context, which is a shame, since chapter 29 is so beautiful. In the midst of exile, the Israelites were called to live their lives! God knows where they are and has a plan for them. Just like you said, in the face of crisis, pain, trauma, etc…we are to persevere.
    and keep living in the truth of Scripture. Thank you for this!

    1. You said that beautifully, Allyson. There are countless examples in Scripture of God’s chosen ones persevering in their suffering. May we have the courage to do the same. Thank you for your note.

  2. Like you, when tragedy happens, I want to act. But so often, there is nothing to do but trust in Jesus. That alone is enough. When we trust Him in tragedy’s we are a light in the darkness. Love this post, thanks for sharing, Dodie.

  3. “Tragedy…it’s happening on a regular basis now, occurring so often that we’re numbed by the news stories of death and loss. Until it hits in our home turf.” – As a therapist I often work with individuals who have endured trauma and tragedy. My continual prayer is that I don’t become numb to their stories. They are not just another case or statistic. They are one of God’s precious children who need support and encouragement.

    1. I believe it requires vigilance and prayer when you work in a ‘helping field’ in order to remain compassionate. You are wise to remain alert to the temptation to protect yourself from the pain of others by becoming numb. As Nouwen so aptly stated, we are all wounded healers.

  4. What a call to action in Christ! It’s getting bad out in the world, but we have the Good News to change people’s lives. Thank you for this powerful reminder!

    1. Thank God that we are in this world, but not of it. – Jesus chose us OUT of the world, (John 15:19). Our decisions may become more difficult as the days grow darker; our love of the world may be painfully revealed to us. However, it will only be so that our light will shine brighter!

  5. Here for this! During tragedy, I’m always the one who stays up wondering if I’m called to move or stay. Still searching for that answer.

    1. Crystal, our Father holds us all in the palm of His hand. I believe He gives us the tools and the faith to focus on the life we have right here, right now. If He calls you to more, you will know.

  6. I found this encouraging. If I keep my eyes on Jesus and the things I have in front of me, it keeps me from spending my energies on things over which I have no control. To live in this world is a real act of faith.

  7. Whether Jesus comes back tomorrow, 85 years, or 2,000 from now, we are all called to live in holiness, love, and dedication to the Lord. We are to treat each day as important and significant, to strive to know and love God more, and to make the Lord’s name known to others.

  8. It’s so hard as a highly sensitive person to live in a time like this. EVERYTHING makes me nauseous these days. I want to be informed and educated on the happenings of this world, but it all makes my heart ache. Thanks for sharing some encouragement!

  9. Yes, our world is a troubled place, but Kalyn, we have a Savior who is Mighty to save and deliver! Let HIM take the burden of this world from your shoulders. He is able to carry it…and you. ❤️

  10. Dodie, this is perfect. I have been thinking about this as well. How are we to respond as Christ followers in the midst of these tragedies. I keep hearing the same thing….be faithful where you are and lift up Christ. Only He can save us from the sin that is so prevalent. Thanks for sharing. – Amy

    1. And thank YOU, Amy! It’s always an affirmation to learn that my sisters in Christ are hearing some of the same things from the Spirit that I am.

  11. Tragedies always serve as a reminder of how small our lives are in comparisont o others. It really reminds me that my struggles are not as bad as I think they are and how blessed we are every single day.

    1. Most Westerners could probably join you in that, Karen. We are a blessed, yet often ungrateful people. May we learn to give thanks in everything…

  12. Yes! I totally agree with this! Every generation seems to question if we are living in the last days. We might not know but we should realize we are here for this time for a purpose. We need to take our purpose seriously – seek God and proclaim Him to a lost world.

  13. Lately, I can’t help but think that these are the last days and not for the reason everyone might think but because our days are limited. So no matter which generation it is, we are all technically in our last days. Until we die or Jesus comes, we need to keep the faith and keep sharing!

    1. Thank you for your insight, Kristi! As Paul told Timothy in his 2nd letter, we must be faithful in season and out of season…or, in today’s vernacular, “Preach the word. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not…” And believe me, as the times are not favorable for the Word!

  14. It’s interesting, you’re right we always want to rush to do something. But in our desire to do good, we could be actually stepping out of the will of God. He has us very specific agenda and often times we want to take over without even consulting Him. The world simply needs to see us being consistent in what we say and do… continuing in Christ

  15. I loved this article! I think for the country or world to become a better place, is to come together as one. We need to come together and persevere through the tragedy and difficult times. 🙂

  16. I really needed this! I loved reading through all of the comments as well. Dodie, thank you for being so inspiring. ❤️

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