Yesterday and today, two stories appeared on about Christians hurt by political upheaval: deaths in Pakistan due to a terrorist attack and concerns about safety in a developing crisis in Paraguay.

Though the saints weren’t the focus of the violence in either of these stories, they show that lives can be ended and people hurt just the same. We use the phrase “innocent bystanders” as shorthand for those caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

At the same time, we should not be blind to the opportunities that such moments may offer. The book of Acts shows that even persecution has its silver lining. The Lord uses all that happens for the kingdom. And his people are in the middle of his working. They are the focus of his action.

Evil is never good, but God uses it to his own benevolent ends.

“And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8.28 NET).

Phillip Eichman writes about Christians and suffering in The God of All Comfort.