After Brussels: A Christian Response to Terror and Tragedy

My Thoughts Are With Brussels

First Paris in November, and then San Bernardino in December. Terror attacks let up for only a short while until another pair of attacks occurred in Brussels and, most recently, Pakistan. One of our other writers will be covering Pakistan, so I want to take a few minutes to reflect on what happened almost two weeks ago.

Too often we quickly forget yesterday’s news, but news like this is rarely forgotten by the friends and family members of victims.

What Happened in Brussels?

On March 22, 2016, Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS) suicide bombers carried out coordinated nail bombings targeting as many civilians as possible in heavily crowded areas. Two bombs went off at Brussels Airport in Zaventem and one at Maalbeek metro station.

Thirty-five civilians were killed and more than 300 people were injured in these terrorist attacks, making this the deadliest act of terror in Belgium’s history. Another bomb was found at the airport, but thankfully it never detonated.

A Christian Response to Terror and Tragedy

Acts of terror, natural disasters, disease, hunger, poverty, and war all exist because of that tragic moment in world history when Adam and Eve took the fruit from the forbidden tree and disobeyed God in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3).

This ancient act of treason caused ripple effects that continue to span across all time and every place. There is not one square inch of this world that does not ache with the effects of original sin. Sadly, tragedy is one unnatural aspect of life in this sin-cursed, fallen world, and evil is an ever-present danger.

Yet, on the darkest day in human history, when God forsook his one and only Son at Golgotha, Jesus triumphed over all tragedy and evil through the tragedy of tragedies and the death of deaths. In God’s plan of salvation for humanity, Jesus Christ’s defeat was ultimate victory—death has no more sting through the power of the risen Lord.

Even though death still marks this present evil age, there will be a day very soon when everything will be different. There won’t be one square inch of the world to come that will hurt or weep: every tear and all pain will be ended, and life will be full of endless joy, peace, and eternal bliss for all of those who love and are loved by Jesus (Rev. 21:4).

My Prayers Are With Brussels

There is no better time than right now to pray for those who are grieving and mourning in the midst of mass terror and suffering:

Father, we pray for Brussels, asking for your comfort and protection over those families who have experienced great loss and who presently suffer from great pain. We pray for justice to be brought to all of those who took part in carrying out this evil attack, and we ask you to bring peace where there is war. Put an end to ISIS/ISIL, and grant safe passage from harm to all of those who are currently under the heavy hand of persecution. We pray not only for Christians who are suffering but also for everyone who faces this great evil. But Lord, until you do put an end to all evil for good, let us endure suffering with perseverance and give us your grace to extend forgiveness to our enemies—knowing that the weight of eternal glory far outweighs the pain we must embrace in this passing, momentary age. In Christ’s name, Amen.

One day soon, all of the wrongs of this world will be made right by the second coming of Christ and his new world to come. There will be no more tragedy, only victory. It is toward this end that we look, and it is because of this future that we have certain hope.

Photo of Nicholas Davis

Nicholas Davis

Nicholas Davis is lead pastor of Redemption Church (PCA) in San Diego, California. Nick has worked for White Horse Inn for several years, has contributed to Modern Reformation and other places, and is a writer for Core Christianity. Nick and his wife, Gina, have three sons. He blogs at nicholasmartindavis.com. Connect with Nicholas on Twitter @MundaneMinister.

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