In two earlier posts I recounted the sermon I gave on the Sunday following the events of 9/11/01. I entitled it “Lessons from Pearl Harbor”. This post has the conclusion of that sermon.
Where Was God?
You may still ask, “Where was God in all of this?” I saw God many times as I watched TV this week.
•I saw God in the firefighters who ran into a severely damaged building to try to save lives, losing their own in the process.
•I saw God in people helping their co-workers to get out of the building.
•I saw God in the dedicated rescue workers who went on past the point of exhaustion in the hope of finding somebody alive.
•I saw God in the reaction of Americans, who lined up to give blood, who sent in donations, who gathered at churches and synagogues to pray and comfort one another.
•I saw God in those people holding candlelight vigils and mourning over the loss of life of people they didn’t even know.
•I saw God in the encouragement people were giving to the rescue workers, including local merchants giving food and drink to them without charge.
•I saw God in those who called for us not to take out our anger on Americans of Middle Eastern descent or those who practice the Muslim religion.
•I saw God in Washington, DC, as those of all religions and political persuasions gathered in the National Cathedral as one to worship God in all of this.
•I saw God in the moving memorials held in Canada and countries throughout the world, honoring the victims and upholding the United States in this time of crisis.
Where was God in all of this? He was in each one of us.
What Happens Next?
Our job is just beginning. We don’t know what the future holds. The most important thing we can do is pray for our national leaders.
We should pray that our national leaders:
-Will be open to God’s leading and follow His wisdom.
-They will maintain a spirit of unity consistent with God’s direction to them.
-They won’t be driven by emotions or hatred.
We should also pray for leaders around the world, that:
-Those harboring terrorists will shut down the camps, & give them over to justice.
-Nations will back up their claims of support for the US with appropriate action.
-The community of nations will have a spirit of unity and mutual support.
-Terrorism will be stopped dead everywhere through the determined efforts of every nation’s leadership (incl Northern Ireland and Israel).
-Pray in particular for Pakistan, which will probably be on the front line of any action and without whose support, our job will be more difficult.
We should also pray for the nation in general, that:
-No more terrorist attacks will occur on our soil or against our people anywhere.
-We will have a spirit of reconciliation and love for one another after seeing how ugly hatred can be.
-We as a nation will turn back to God and revival will take place.
We must realize that God will not support us just because we are Americans. I don’t believe God supports one nationality over another. He will support us if we are his people, called by his name, dedicated to him and committed to him.
Our money says “In God We Trust.” Now is our time to prove it.
Prayer is effective and is our main weapon against the evil we are fighting against, because that evil is of a spiritual nature. Ephesians 6:10-13 tells us that our struggle is a spiritual one:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
I repeat: Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
We may talk of military action, and that is certainly one weapon we may use, but the most effective weapon we have is trust in God and prayer. The best thing we can do in this time of national (and even international) crisis is pray to God and put our trust in Him.