Last week I was writing my Bible Study blog post (www.rohmbible.wordpress.com). The title was Miracles Demonstrate the Power of God. The point I was trying to make was that while God does not cause disasters (whether natural of human caused) to happen, God can and does sometimes work miracles, which result in good news in the midst of or aftermath of bad news. Hope where there seems to be no hope.
As I was writing that blog I was reminded of all the bad news I had heard and read about over the past few days. War in Iraq and Syria, murders in Philadelphia and other nearby towns. All sorts of evil going on around the world. I began to question God about all this. Where were the miracles which would tell me and the world that what I was writing was in fact the truth? Good news in the midst of bad news. Hope where there seemed to be hopelessness. My response to that concern was to remind myself that in God’s time and God’s way, God would provide answer. My experience, as a person who has faith in God, has been that this has often been the way God worked in my life. So I published my blog.
Then something happened which again raised my doubts. Later that day I heard the first news report about a human caused disaster. It was the report of the murder of nine black people, including the pastor, of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church of Charleston, South Carolina, as they were engaged in a prayer and Bible study meeting. This evil act was committed by a 21 year old white man who wanted to kill black people in order to instigate a “race war”
As I watched the continuing news reports about this disaster, the more I wondered what kind of miracle could God possibly perform that would demonstrate good news in the midst of bad news and hope where there seemed to be no hope. The only thing that came to my mind was that maybe God would miraculously strike this evil man dead. That’s the kind of news I wanted to hear. That was the good news I hoped for. I imagined that the family members and friends of those who were murdered would feel just like I did. Surely they would in no uncertain terms condemn this man, or even take the law into their own hands, and do to him what he did to them.
The next day I watched news reports, which were all over the TV, about the capture and arraignment of the murderer. The family members of those who he killed were allowed to speak directly to this evil young man. My expectation was that they would all tell him how much they hated him. They would condemn him with the strongest language imaginable. But that’s not what happened. The front page headline of my newspaper read ‘HATE DOESN’T WIN’… “victim’s families call for forgiveness”. The mayor of Charleston (Joseph Riley, Jr.) was quoted as saying “This hateful person came to this community with some crazy idea that he would be able to divide and all he did was make us more united and love each other even more. This community wants to come together in prayer and unity and help each other “. As if to show that what the mayor said was in fact the truth, on many of the TV news show, I saw over and over again, the people of Charleston, black and white together, supporting each other. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this public response to this evil act was in fact a perfect example of God working a miracle. A miracle in which love defeated hate. A miracle which the whole world could see unfolding through the frequent news reports. Good news in the midst of bad news. Hope where there seemed to be no hope. A miracle demonstrating the love and power of God.
Grace and peace, Ray
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.
Patty Perez and Ray Gough
We also invite you to view our other web-site Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study www.rohmbible.wordpress.com
We have also published the book shown below in the form of an e–book. We invite you to read, copy, or down-load it free at this web-site:
A Spiritual Autobiography
How God fulfilled the faith-based hopes
of an ordinary guy from Jersey City