We offer our condolences to all who have been negatively affected by terrorist attacks.
The events of September 11, 2001, represent the most horrific American tragedy that most of us have ever experienced. Americans have been murdered on an unbelievable scale in the most unimaginable fashion. Many all over our nation will suffer the consequences of this catastrophe for years to come.
In my opinion, Christians should respond to this wickedness in a manner different from the typical man on the street. A natural response to such an attack on us is to desire to "get even." But Jesus has called His disciples to a higher standard of behavior. Let us trust God's promise that all things eventually work together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). As we read in Romans 12:19, "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord." As Christians, we are not to be people of wrath or hate. Trust that God will take care of this wickedness in His own way and in His own good time.
We have heard and will continue to hear many news reports that will be filled with stories about people who are seeking revenge. Romans 13, especially verse 4, teaches us that God uses government as the power that He has authorized to avenge and to execute judgement on those who practice evil. Let us permit God to deal with this matter in His own way. Let us support our government and pray for our leaders.
Even in times of adversity, Christians should treat all men with kindness and respect. Jesus taught us to love our enemies and to do good to all people. In Luke 6:35, He reminds us that God is kind even to the unthankful and evil. Let us be forgiving as God has forgiven us through Jesus.
Let us be careful about spreading unsubstantiated gossip about how this will affect our lives. Be on guard as Satan attempts to use this to further his control in this world, in our communities, and even in our own homes. Be diligently prayerful that we will not let this be a time that weakens our faith in God, but a time that will build our faith as we strengthen our commitment to Him and His purposes. This evil is a work of Satan, not of God.
Jesus Christ was a peaceful person and His followers should be peaceful. Let us pray for a speedy resolution to the current crisis and pray for healing for those who have been harmed. Remember that Jesus died for all men, even those who cowardly murder the innocent. God's grace is the only real solution to this conflict. God's mercy is the only permanent fix for a world trapped in darkness. People need to be taught of the love of God and of the sacrifice of His Son. Let us take every opportunity to point others to Jesus.
Satan wants us to keep our minds focused on the evil in this world in such a way that will force us into sinful behavior. God prefers that we focus on His goodness which He demonstrated at the Cross. The death of Jesus Christ was a more horrific tragedy than any other in the history of the world. Yet through that event the whole world can be blessed. The world will be a better place only when all men and women come to an understanding of our Creator and Savior.
11 September 2001
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