ODJ: victory over death

April 25, 2015 

READ: Deuteronomy 31:1-8 

But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

This isn’t an easy article for me to write. It means reflecting on some of the darkest evil plaguing our world today: terrorism. But a recent encounter allowed me to see more clearly the power of God’s sustaining Word—even amidst terror caused by evil actions.

At a coffee shop in Uganda I met a young man who had witnessed and survived (by hiding in a meat freezer) the 21 September 2013 terrorist attack at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that resulted in 67 deaths. Though he was ultimately among those rescued, during the horrific ordeal the man saw the face of evil as innocent people were gunned down—some at point blank range—if they failed to convince the radical militants that they shared the same religion.

As he watched people die, the young man had every reason to believe he wouldn’t make it out alive. He told me, however, that because he was confident of having been saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) and that Jesus is his Saviour (1 Timothy 1:1), he feared pain—but not death. The man’s mind raced and his heart pounded that day, but at the same time he experienced supernatural peace as he clung to Scripture, including the following verses from God’s Word:

• “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

• “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3).

I consider it a gift from God to have met this man, for he’s a living testimony that God and His Word can still our hearts and grant peace to our minds even during the most horrific situations on earth.

We can cling to that confidence which is available through Christ alone.

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day-plan: 2 Kings 5:1-27

Read 2 Corinthians 5:1 and consider the hope that it can bring as we consider death. 
What verses from God’s Word give you hope as you consider the effects of evil and death? How does Jesus’ death and resurrection give you hope for facing the time when you walk through the “valley”?