On October 1st, 2015, news broke from southwest Oregon of a shooting. The reports indicated ten were killed and seven injured.

It can be easy to ask, “Where is God when things like this happen?” The shock and pain behind that question is understandable, and it’s certainly one to be answered, but first know that these tragedies are earthly expressions of a spiritual war.

Our PRIMARY struggle as Christians isn’t against school security levels, guns, or even the fallen men and women who plan these attacks. Our struggle is “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). We live in a fallen world with evil unleashed. However, that has never once changed God’s standing over it or in it. Fiercely guard against the temptation to accept thoughts questioning God’s motivation or involvement. Never allow a temporary situation to move your assurance of your eternal King: “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21). He is worthy in celebrations and He is just as worthy in tragedies (Heb. 13:8).

Your Savior is risen and reigning, regardless of any news report. He understands the horrors in this world, but He Himself declares His victory for you (John 16:33). He wraps His peace around you (John 14:27). He sings His love over you (Zeph. 3:17). He is present (Matt. 28:20), He is Sovereign (Job 38:4), and He is faithful even when we are faithless (2 Tim. 2:13). As you absorb this shooting’s coming updates and grieve the losses, continually remind your soul of who your God is.

As believers, we deeply mourn those taken lives. Those 10 lives were unique and treasured by God, because He’s the One who knit them together in their mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13). Those 10 lives were pursued by God to be redeemed by Christ (1 Peter 1:18–20).

Each encounter is an opportunity to spread the name of Christ. We never know the burdens people are carrying, the day that could be ahead of them, and we certainly don’t know where they would go if this day was their last. Jesus came “to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10). Now that you and I have been redeemed, we are called to share His good news with the lost in this hurting, confused world. It’s our prayer that you go forward from tragedy to see people—ALL people—with an eternal perspective, equipped and eager to share the hope that is within you (1 Peter 3:15).