As I have listened to the reports flowing in about what took place yesterday at Virginia Tech, I cannot help but hurt for the people who lost friends and family in this tragedy. But I must ask myself, "How as a follower of Christ am I to think about things like this?"
The honest truth is as weird as it may sound, this incident and others like it, affirms my faith In Christ and His word. The common questions when something like this occurs are, "Why?" and "What kind of evil is this?" "How could someone do that?" The ultimate answer is, "Because it fits into the ultimate purpose and plan of God."
Perhaps that answer makes you disgusted at me. "How could you say that! God is a God of Love!" Yes, God is a loving God. But God is a God completely in control of all things too. We are told that God ordained the death of Christ Himself. What was more evil than the murder of the Son of God?
Look at Acts 2:23.
"this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men."
Whose "definite plan" was it that Jesus be crucified? God's. Who receives the blame? Lawless men. Make no mistake, God did not force this young man to murder 32 people and then kill himself. But God did ordain it to be so. God is in control of all things in this world. He has a purpose.
After Jacob (or Israel) dies, in Genesis 50, Joseph's brothers are fearful of him because they are afraid that Joseph will retaliate against them for all the wrong they did him by selling him into slavery. But what is Joseph's response? Genesis 50:20.
"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."
Who would have known that by the evil of Joseph's brothers that one day Joseph would be put in a place by God to save the lives of so many people? But God had a purpose in what Joseph's brothers did. God had a purpose in planning the death of His own Son, that He might save those whom He chooses to save.
I look at the Virginia Tech incident and I can say that God is working even in that. God is not impotent. God was not unable to stop that from happening. According to Ephesians 1:11 God "works all things according to the counsel of his will."
I remember listening to John Piper talk about the death of his mother. He described the incident. She was on a bus, I believe on a mission trip, and a truck in front of the bus was carrying lumber. A 2x4 fell from the truck and came through the window of the bus and struck and killed John's mother. John struggled with the grief of losing his mother, like all of us would, but at the end of it all he was able to say something like this: "I would rather serve a God that planned my mothers death like that, rather than God who couldn't stop a single 2x4 from coming through a window."
We do not see what God has planned. But we can know that He is in control and in the midst of this situation. Perhaps God will use this to bring about the salvation of some students seeking for answers. Perhaps it will resolve someones heart to reach out to lost and hurting people who might otherwise do more of the same kind of violence. The truth is, we will probably never know what all God is doing through this, but we can be sure He has it under control and is working it out for His glory, and the good of those who love Him.
I would be remiss if I failed to point out that this affirms may faith in the teaching of Scripture about sin as well. We as people are born inclined and enslaved to sin. If not for the grace of God, who knows what I would be today. I used to be a very angry and somewhat violent person. Romans 1:28-32 nails it on the head about what we as humans are capable of.
28"And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."
It is by God's grace that His Spirit restrains much of the evil, otherwise we would see how bad it could really get. And we must remember in many places in the world, it is worse.
Sinful man, needs a perfect savior. This incident affirms my faith in Christ and His word as being true. And it also serves as a reminder to preach the gospel to a lost and dying world and pray for God to save souls as only He can.