With everything in the news at the moment, it could be easy to suppose that if there is a God, surely it is a God who must be pretty mean, angry, spiteful and unforgiving?  

Yet as a Christian, I believe in a very different God, in particular through the history of Jesus Christ of Nazareth walking on the Earth and as I see him working through his followers today for good.  

God is the source of life and creativity, joy and compassion. People continually testify to God bringing goodness out of tragedy and hope in times of despair. 

I believe it is these stories that we need to seek out and hold on to, not revel in the drama of destruction but rejoice in inspiring news of selfless love, miracles, rebuilding and transformation. 

How good it would be to hear more of how people are rebuilding lives in those countries, when after initial reports of crisis, are simply left to fade away from the public eye.  

What inspirational endurance, perseverance and forgiveness has been shown and continues to be shown? What support can we continue to give?

I am thankful to believe in a God that does not look away, who is there with incredible human beings, in these awful situations across the world, working, serving, loving the broken and fearful.  

So today I’m going to take a moment to think of the people who are not in the news but who are rebuilding their lives and hoping against the odds for a better future and pray for them.  

Closer to home, I’m also going to take a moment to thank God for the people who have helped me, and who continue to be there, in difficult times.  

I’m going to smile and keep rejoicing and grab that attitude of gratitude, because life is a gift and Jesus promised hope and strength in the darkest valleys.