Summary: God gives us hope in this time of disaster...And in all disasters.(The Sunday After "911")
Hope In Times Of Disaster
Introduction. The date was September 11,2001 or 9/11/01: Now to be remembered as “911.” Tuesday was the beginning of days, perhaps an era, of emergency for America and the world community. Fanatical, fundamentalist, hateful, evil, suicidal, sinful Muslim* terrorists attacked our beloved United States of America. Thousands of lives were lost. The mission of these hate filled men was to destroy Americans and to show disrespect toward America’s social, material and spiritual way of life. They died believing that their false god, Allah, would give them eternal pleasure in paradise because of their acts of war against the America that they call “The Great Satan.”
Their well planned, financed, and orchestrated attack was designed to bring Americans to our knees… It did: But not in the way they intended. Americans immediately went to our knees in prayer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Only True God. Jehovah. We went to our knees to minister to the fallen, the injured, to gather and bury the dead… Church services were organized, service organizations sprang into action, a nation divided by all kinds of political values, mostly, united to share loving words and deeds with the suffering and with each other. Americans gave blood for the wounded, just as Jesus Christ gave his own blood on the cross for all of humankind who have been wounded by sin.
Allow me to ask and try to answer three questions. 1. What should we think about all of this disaster and tragedy? 2. What should we do immediately?
3. What does this mean to our future?
I. What should we think about all of this disaster and tragedy?
We must go to the Bible for answers and understanding. Jesus said that in this world we will have trials and tribulation. Jesus tells us that when we grieve and have sorrow that we should not sorrow as people who have no hope. It is OK to grieve when we suffer loss. It is OK to be angry: But we must be careful that in our anger we do not sin. We cannot hide our feelings and fears from God. An old song tells us that “Jesus knows all about our struggles. He will guide till the day is done…” God is big enough to field our questions, doubts and fears. Many, maybe even you, are saying, “How could God do this?” My response is that God did not do this. Sinful man did. God made everything good. Adam and every human, except Jesus, since then has first chosen to sin. God provided life. God told man ahead of time that if he ate of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden that he would die. Man chose death. God, even before the world was created had a plan of salvation, through Jesus Christ. God has always had a remedy.
Some are asking, maybe even you, “Why, if God is a God of love, if God is Love, would He allow this to happen?” My response is that when God created the world, He placed certain natural and spiritual laws in place. When they are broken, they bring predicted results. At times, His permissive will lets man endure the consequences of man’s actions. At other times, through reasons known only to Him, He works miracles to supersede those laws. Some who seem to think that all we need for a healthy, rich, happy life is to pray a prayer of Jabez, or to pray for a band of angels, or to pray for a hedge of protection… may have to rethink the story of the early church’s persecution and of all but one of the twelve apostles who died violent deaths.
Talk to Jesus. Read His Word. Pray for spiritual wisdom and commonsense. Listen to Him as we pray. Ask Him to forgive our sins. Sins which we are tempted to think of as small, in the light of the horrific events of the past week. I, for one, am glad God created me with a free will; that he gave me choice and did not make me a puppet. Christians choose to live with faith in God. If Allah is such a loving god why does he not work miracles of love? If the other gods worshipped by our world are the true gods, why do they not straighten out the messes in our world? God has been good enough to tell us, through the Bible prophecies, of the future. (Some nuts will set dates for Jesus’ second coming. Don’t) Be ready. Jesus is coming sometime… Several from the Tuesday night Bible study group told their teacher, Joan, “We are so glad we took time to study Revelation…” Do they have all the answers? Definitely not: But they do know that even more tribulation will one day assault this earth.