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#ElevatedFriday September 22nd, 2017

Happy #ElevatedFriday! This week’s story should be familiar to those watching the national network news. Earlier this week, four American students were the victims of an acid attack in France by a deranged assailant. Many of the national news sources covered the story, the confusion, the shocking details, and the uproar. However what many did not cover was the aftermath, after tensions had subsided and the parties involved were able to recover and reflect. As detailed in the article below by the Good News Network, the four American students, who thankfully were not seriously hurt, have already forgiven their assailant and are publicly praying for her. Instead of allowing this unprovoked attack harden their hearts or lend credence to a negative world view, the students are using it to glorify God, showcase what forgiveness looks like, and call for help for the mentally disabled.

We live in a hyper-connected world where information is consumed at an ever-faster pace, and the sources we rely upon for up-to-date news must constantly adapt to its audience’s desire for whatever is new and interesting. Sadly, one of the consequences is a news world that rarely stops its forward sprint to report on the healing that always occurs after tragedy. When one consumes large amounts of news today, it is easy to assume the world is a terrible place, people cannot be trusted, and God is absent. If He is so powerful, why hasn’t He stopped all this tragedy?

God never leaves us; He is with us in the storms, in the tragedies, and in the rancor. We just move too fast to recognize that He is there! It is often only in the healing, in those days, weeks, months, or years after the tragedy is reported upon, that those closest to it see that God’s hand was guiding them all along. In a story like this, where four people were attacked for no reason but nevertheless forgave their attacker, we see that outrage may feel good, but only forgiveness frees. Today, release the scores you have kept for others and debts owed. Embrace forgiveness of Jesus as the only path to freedom.

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” – Mark 11:25

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