Why do these things happen? What can be done? Is gun control the solution? Is tighter security the answer or metal detector installation at schools and universities?
Many will have various opinions as to the answer for what continues to be a rising problem in our society. One thing can assuredly be said, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart,” Proverbs 21:2. We have many officials, many groups and activists trying to determine what needs to be done to eliminate the threat and protect the innocent.
Indeed, protection is important, and many young people are turning back to prayer as they see a failing system with the inability to keep them safe. The truth is – if the focus is only on protection and not discovering the reason behind the action, no source of protection will prevent the problem from continuing.
The enemy does, indeed, come to steal, kill and destroy the victim, as well as the persecutor. You see, the one who holds the gun has lost their hope. They, too, were once a baby in their mother’s womb, a curious toddler, a student in a class, a person exposed to their own disappointments and pain as life happened around them.
The truth is we often remain stuck in the pain so long that our focus is punishment and not prevention. Indeed, consequences do come to those who allow sin to rule, however, it is time we look beyond temporary protection to bring life-changing help to the hurting. All people were created to love and be loved, for it is the greatest of all forces in life and has the ability to empower all people.
Somewhere along the line, love has failed the one behind the gun. They may be victims of bullying, abuse, rejection, criticism, hate and so on. Somewhere they got to a point they felt alone and got tired of believing in change, and the enemy used this vulnerable state to sear their conscience and create this weapon of mass destruction.
Somewhere along the line, the root was rejection – either rejection of their own value by the words of others or thoughts about themselves. Love has left the scene, and death has become the trap door Satan has opened to them as a means of escaping their own pain. Hopelessness, indeed, has become home to the hurting, and the world screams eliminate not educate.
The world has said take the message of Christ to those who don’t know and those easy to reach and forget those who don’t care or who have hardened their hearts because of their own pain.
The truth is, until we reach those who have given up, we will never stop this continual replaying of mass destruction. But how do we do this? The world has judged them “beyond help.”
Christ said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me,” John 12:32. Does all indeed mean the hopeless, the angry, the abuser and the murder?
The focus has been on taking away from others to stop persecution – gun control, prayer from schools – when the focus must be on investing in others to stop persecution. The world is trying to fight with natural solutions a spiritual problem to which they will lose every time. Christ has already given us the weapons of warfare, but as long as man continues to ignore the weapons for battle against Satan they will fall victim to his agenda. You see, we war not against flesh and blood but rulers of darkness controlled by Satan’s power (Ephesians 6:12) when we war against the one behind the gun.
We cannot forget about the Apostle Paul, who indeed persecuted Christians until he was exposed to the light of Christ. His life was forever changed, and he became a powerful witness for Christ. We must take the message of Christ to the schools, the universities, and the workplace to expose the hurting to the light of Christ who will forever change their lives.
Can we tell them no pain, no suffering, no loss will come to their lives if they have Christ? No, but without him they become a tool in the hands of the ruler of this world, Satan himself, of whom there is no peace. Christ said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.
So, you see the message we must take is not one that says no pain, but one that promises peace when pain is present. As one young person told me, “We are tired of people saying ‘be patient; God knows what he is doing; it’s going to get better.’”
Can we not say there have been times when we were tired of hoping, angry for suffering, weary in a long battle, prayerless in pain? What kept us going? I for one have often only had the word, “help me, Jesus,” that could find it’s uttering in my spirit.
It, indeed, is enough. It’s time we help these young adults find the same utterance in the midst of their pain. For as long as Jesus remains in their spirit, Satan will lose the fight. Let’s stop judgment, focus on the root of the problem and take hope to the hurting in the schools, universities and workplaces. It is time to turn what the enemy meant for harm to good. (Genesis 50:20) Praise God for his unending love in a hurting world.
Ann Haney is a mother to six entrepreneurial-minded children, ordained minister, CEO of Aaron Publishing, founder of Ann Haney Ministries and Living In Abundance, nationwide motivational speaker, coupon specialist, empowerment coach and bestselling author of 20 published products, including her books, “Judgment Overruled,” “Exploding Into Successful Entrepreneurship,” “Single Steps In A Married World” and “Changing Your Life Through Couponing Financial Empowerment Series.” Ann Haney ministry’s vision is helping women know the root of their challenge and deliver them from the death grip it holds on their life by surfacing their inner beauty and confidence, helping young people discover their God-given purpose and pursue it with passion, helping men and women learn to use the resources available to them to overcome their circumstances and helping those recovering from life’s choices and challenges receive second chances without condemnation. Contact Ann at [email protected] to schedule a speaking engagement, individual coaching or view her website for more information at annhaney.com.