Summary: This sermon is designed to encourage people during a time of personal or national crisis.
Finding Comfort When Tragedy Strikes
September 12, 2001 / Dr. Marty Baker
Stevens Creek Community Church / Augusta, GA
Confusion ..... Shock .... Despair...... Disbelief ...... permeated the nation yesterday as we watched the reports from the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As the drama developed people were dazed at the mayheim ... speechless ... wondering when will the violence stop.
Who would do such a thing? Why? Why? Why kill innocent people? As the day progessed, it became evident that hundreds and possibly thousands of people met an violent untimely death. Their families were looking foward a beautiful Autumn, Thanksgiving together, and sharing special moments at Christmas; now they are forced to grieve and pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
We say to ourselves, "This can’t be true. Somebody tell us that this is a big mistake! This is tragic." But, it is true, and now we and millions of people across this land are mourning the loss of these people. It is so senseless.
I’ve heard some say, "How could God allow this to happen?" We have to understand that there are good and evil forces at work in this world. The highjacking of these four planes and and the crashes associated with them are examples of the worst kind of evil there is - the killing of innocent people, innocent Moms and Dads, sons and daughters, faithful citizens and civil workers.
Now, we and thousands of Americans are forced with the job of coping with tragedy. How do we do it?
What do we do when tragedy strikes? We hurt.
We hurt when we have to confront the tragedy of betrayal - the tragedy of divorce.
We hurt when we have to face the tragedy that our children have become drug addicts.
We hurt when we deal with the tragedy of bankruptcy.
We hurt when we get the tragic news that the tumor is malignant and the prognosis is not good.
We hurt when we experience the finality of a loved one’s death.
What Should You Do When Tragedy Strikes?
1. Put Your Faith in God.
When one thinks about sustaining faith, he can learn from the story of Job. The Bible says that Job was a perfect man, a righteous man, a man who turned from evil. Nonetheless, in one fell swoop everything that had meaning and purpose or made sense for Job was lost.
The Sabeans rustled all his oxen and donkeys and killed all the herdsmen.
Fire struck the sheep and the shepherds and burned them up.
The Chaldeans raided the camels, carried them off, and put all the drivers to death.
A whirlwind swept across the desert, struck his eldest son’s house, and killed all of Job’s sons and daughters while they were dining.( Job 1:13-19)
To top if off, Job broke out in running sores from head to foot, and in disgust his wife said to him. "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9)
There he was. Job the righteous. Job the affluent. Job the successful. Job the powerful. Everything was gone. His world had crashed. Everything was wiped out.
What would you do? What would you do if you lost it all? What would you do if your children were taken from you? What would do if your spouse said, "Curse God and die?"
Look at Job and his response. Here was a sick man sitting in an ash pile. Notice his action: "Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshipped" (Job 1:20).
He remembered the source of His strength. He remembered the hope of his future. He remembered that God said that He would never leave him nor forsake him. It is rather strange, isn’t it? Everything was lost, and Job fell down on the ground and worshipped.
In essence, Job is saying, "Even though, tragedy has struck my life and I’ve lost it all, I trust God and I know that everything will be all right." We read in ....
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.
My focus today is to encourage you to keep your faith and to remind you that you are not alone. I believe that God will supply us with a power that is greater than ourselves to bring us through the difficulties that we face.
What did Job do? He was a sick man sitting in an ash pile. ........
2. Pray About The Situation.
Notice his action:
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship