Summary: In response to the terrorist attacks on NY and WA, this sermon attempts to help people learn to lean on God in times of trouble.
WHEN YOUR WORLD COLLAPSES---PSALMS 34:15-19
JOKE---In memory of those who’s lives were stolen in a murderous act of war, at the WTC, the Pentagon, and in the hills of New Jersey, there will be no joke this week. Instead, I simply ask you to observe with me a moment of silence.
INTRO--- There is a child’s book called, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” It’s about a little boy, whose day starts out by losing his homework and ends with his getting in trouble at home.
Prior to Tuesday, September 11th 2001, this might adequately describe a bad day for a TYPICAL child in the United States of America. However since that fateful day, millions of innocent children and unsuspecting adults have learned what a truly bad day really is.
That is why we need to pray for
The victims of American Airlines flight 77, which hit the Pentagon;
American Airlines 11, which hit the north tower of the WTC;
United Airlines 175, which hit the south tower of the WTC;
And United Airlines 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
Let us also pray for the innocent victims who were killed in the buildings and on the ground surrounding the Pentagon, and the World Trade Center. Let us remember their families, the President, our leaders, and the leaders of our Allies around the world.
TRANSITION--- My friends, life is full of unexpected circumstances that catch us off guard. After the week we have just witnessed, I don’t think anyone would argue with that statement. And how could they? No one plans on.... Terrorist strikes, stock market crashes, business failures, the violent loss of a loved one, injustice, etc… But as the Bible says, “It rains on the unjust and the just alike.”
What do you do when your world collapses around you? You learn to lean on the Lord. How can you lean on the Lord? There are 4 things you can lean on, and they are contained in our Scripture this morning.
I. THE FIRST THING YOU CAN LEAN ON IS THE WATCHFUL SIGHT OF THE LORD
A. Turn over to 2 Chronicles 16:9--- “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.”
1. God proclaimed this message to King Asa.
a. King Asa and all Judah had come under attack from their enemies.
b. God told King Asa to turn to the Lord for rescue because the Lord’s eyes were upon their need and his strength was behind them.
c. Instead of turning to God, King Asa relied solely on foreign coalitions to help him win the battle.
d. Even though the eyes of the Lord was upon him, King Asa removed God from the battle and as a result, he perished.
ILLUSTRATION---In 1984, a woman in Bogotá, Columbia, rushed her 10-month-old boy, who had severe dysentery, to a local hospital and left him over night. The next morning when she came for her child his head including his eyes were bandaged. There were specks of dried blood on his face. When she asked what was wrong with her child she was bluntly told he was dying.
She rushed him to another hospital where the doctors removed the bandages. Upon doing so the doctor said, "They have stolen his eyes." The child was a victim of an illegal cornea trade.
My friends, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS AT WAR! Undoubtedly, in the days and weeks to follow you will hear many commentators and a host of analysts on TV and Radio who will tell you that the recent terroristic attacks on the United States were the result of the absence of human intelligence in enemy states or regimes. There may be some truth to that.
However, the Bible says that the problem with America is not that we have lost our human intelligence capabilities; the problem with America is that someone has stolen our eyes. You see, because we have foolishly removed God from our culture, we have in turn arrogantly put our total trust in our military might and foreign coalitions.
Let me be bold! As a whole, our society has turned its back on Jesus Christ and that is why our enemies have caught us off guard. That is why God’s Word says we now have war.
2. But there is hope yet! And we are seeing it spring up all around us.
ILLUSTRATION---This past week, we have had a Church service every day since Tuesday. Many people have come through our doors to pray to God. But it is not just here in this church. I also presided over a prayer meeting at Norton Hospital in their boardroom. There were so many people that some had to stand outside and listen in. All over our country, church after church, Christian upon Christian, people are throwing down their sins at the foot of Calvary’s Cross and they are calling on the name of the Lord for strength.