Summary: “Refreshing My Rough Times.” Sometimes life can be real rough and it seems as though the whole world is out of control. We’ll study Psalm 91:1-16 in order to learn how to find shelter, peace and refuge in the presence of the Lord.
The Crossing Community Church
Times Of Refreshing
“Refreshing My Rough Times”
Pastor Jim Botts
September 8th, 2002
**FLASH PLAYER CLIP: 9-11**
John Blanchard recounts the events of 9-11:
The beautiful morning of September 11th, 2001, seemed a day like any other day. But coordinated teams of religious fanatics were preparing to shatter that illusion. In a meticulously planned operation, they hi-jacked 4 commercial airplanes with scheduled cross-country flights. Brutally slitting the throats of passengers & crewmembers that tried to stop them, they re-routed the Boeing 767s to New York, flew in over Manhattan and aimed the aircraft at the World Trade Center’s twin towers like guided missiles.
At 8:45 am American Airlines flight 11 with 92 people on board crashed into the North Tower of the WTC complex. It’s 20,000 gallons of aviation fuel igniting a blaze that reached an estimated temperature of 2,000 degrees F. About 20 minutes later, now covered by national television, United Airlines flight 175, carrying 65 people, crashed into the South tower with the same horrific results.
Gaping holes appeared in the upper levels of the towers, releasing massive fireballs and clouds of black smoke that smothered the city. Desks, chairs, filing cabinets, computer equipment, human bodies and body parts were blown and sucked out of the building and rained down on the street below like “ticker tape.” Terrified workers smashed windows and threw themselves out. One witness told of seeing at least 14 people floating down to earth like rag dolls. A man and a woman held hands as they jumped to their deaths.
Less than 1 hour after it had been hit, the South tower collapsed – 30 minutes later the North tower shared the same fate. This event was so appalling that it overshadowed the news that American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon in Washington D.C., killing nearly 200 people. And then a 4th plane, United Airlines flight 93, had crashed near Pittsburgh, PA killing 45 more.
September 11th, 2001 was the bloodiest day in our nation’s history since September 17th, 1862 when 4,700 Union and Confederate soldiers died in the Civil War battle of Antietam. The nearly 3,000 people killed on September 11th, 2001, surpasses the 2,388 Americans killed in Pearl Harbor, and the 1,465 killed in the Normandy invasion on June 6th, 1944.
Addressing the nation from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, President Bush said, “…I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us….” He closed his speech with the words “God Bless America!”
Dr Billy Graham said, “In times like this, we realize how weak and inadequate we are, and our greatest need is to turn in repentance and faith to the God of all Mercy and the Father of all comfort. If ever there was a time for us to turn to God and to pray as a nation…it is now….”
We will never forget the images from 911, the people, the tragedy, and the prayers of that day will forever be burned into our memories. We remember those who’ve lost their lives, those heroes who came into the light, the changes that have gripped our lives and the hope that God gives in the deepest of our struggles.
A Gallop poll showed that 60% of Americans are worried about becoming a victim of terrorism, 55% see the attacks as the beginning of a sustained terrorist campaign, 48% admitted that they are now less willing to fly on airplanes.
When the world seems out of control and times get rough, where can we find shelter, peace and refuge? We’ve been in the book of Psalms seeking to experience “Times of Refreshing” from the presence of the Lord. Today I want to give you a personal plan for turning rough times into refreshing times. “Refreshing My Rough Times” comes from one of the most comforting Psalms ever written.
Stand and read Psalm 91:1-16 (NNAS)
The 1st principle for turning rough times into refreshing times is…
1. RUN TO GOD (v1-4)
Art Linkletter saw a small boy scrawling wildly on a sheet of paper. “What are you drawing?” Linkletter asked. “I’m drawing a picture of God” the boy replied. “You can’t do that, because no body knows what God looks like.” The boy confidently replied, “they will when I’m finished.”
Like the boy scribbling at his desk, people draw their view of God according to their own imagination and desires. Swiss Theologian Karl Barth said, “there are only 2 ways to attain a knowledge of God: one is to begin with man and reason upward; the other is to begin with God and accept His revelation (of Himself) to us.