Trusting God When Terrorism Strikes

Terrorism

Every year, when we come to September 11, we are once again reminded of the terror that was felt 9/11/2001. For it was on that terrible day when the nation was suddenly attacked by Islamic terrorists and thousands of innocent lives were lost. It was a fearful time when terrorism left the free world in a state of shock, panic, confusion, and frustration.

Those of us who were around at that time vividly recall how we felt when we witnessed the planes crashing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Still hearing that it was likely done by terrorists who hijacked the planes, chills ran down our spines when we heard of another airplane hitting the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

And if all that wasn’t enough, it was being reported that another airplane bound for the U.S. Capital ended up crashing in a Pennsylvania field. We later learned that some very brave passengers had fought the terrorists who had overtaken the plane. But sadly, during their struggle, the plane went down taking the lives of everyone in the process.

From then on, the world has never been the same. Laws were enacted and security was tightened in public places like airports. There has been a heightened awareness of potential terrorist threats and what to do in certain circumstances. Sometimes terrorists are thwarted; other times they aren’t. And once again, we are reminded of what happens when terrorism raises its ugly head.

Whenever terrorism strikes, we seek a Higher Power to carry us through it. Our trust is in God. We’re talking about more than a motto printed on our money—a motto that some may not take as seriously as they should or others who would just as soon remove it from our money. Our trust is truly and truthfully in God.

We trust him more than we trust political leaders, military strategists, economic experts, professional educators, and even religious authorities. That does not mean we don’t respect them or rely on their skills, experience, and care for our safety and well-being. We do appreciate their aim to protect, defend, and instruct us for maintaining order and stability. Their sacrifices are, indeed, worthy of honor.

But when it comes to the bottom line, we know who we can totally trust to provide for us when terrorism strikes—the Almighty God, himself. The scriptures reassure us that God is the One we can turn to whenever we are faced with any kind of terror.

For a good guideline to follow, we turn to Psalm 91. This chapter shows how God, not humans, is in control of the world even when terrorism leaves us believing everything is out of control. As we trust God, we will find that security, peace of mind, encouragement, confidence and hope will keep us strong when certain circumstances get out of control.

In a sermon, one minister said,

Psalm 91 teaches all of us a crucial lesson for life—a lesson we need to live by whether we are at war against terrorism or whether we are enjoying a period of peace; whether we are experiencing economic prosperity or whether we are struggling waiting for economic recovery; whether our family life is terrific or whether you find your home torn in conflict—this is it THE truth we need to remember…THE truth we must have to live in victory: THE TRUTH THAT I SPEAK OF TODAY MAY APPEAR ELEMENTARY BUT I ASSURE YOU IT IS ALSO ETERNAL…IT IS THIS TRUTH: “IN GOD WE TRUST.” (Pastor Larry Thompson, SermonCentral.com.)

When you read this chapter in Psalms, you find four attributes about God in whom you can trust, particularly when terrorism strikes: (1) God is our shelter (vss. 1-4); (2) God is our strength (vss. 5-8); God is our security (vss. 9-10); and God is our salvation (vss. 15-16).

(1) God is our shelter.

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
(New American Standard Bible, NASB)

You do not need to be afraid of “terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,” (vs. 5). Disease, destruction, and death, as noted in verses 5-7 are what takes place when terrorists strike. But they will be recompensed for their evil deeds according to verse 8. God is in control; he is our “dwelling place,” (vs. 9).

(2) God is our strength.

5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
7 A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
8 You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
(NASB)

God will support you in his hands, give you wisdom to outwit the lies and deceptions of the world, and empower you to overcome the temptations of evil. Ironically, the words in verses eleven and 12 were enticements to Jesus when he was tempted in the wilderness. But he found refuge in the command that, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test,” (Matt. 4:5-7). In the wilderness of our temptations, we can trust God to be our strength.

(3) God is our security.

9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
(NASB)

People try to find security in different ways: They built walls, create better alarm systems, invest billions of dollars in defensive weapons, sit around peace tables, and debate how they will use these tools to win the war over terrorism. But while they are doing these things, we are putting our trust in the best security there ever was: God our Heavenly Father.

(4) God is “MY salvation.”

15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.” (NASB)

Notice he says “MY salvation” rather than “let him see HIS salvation.” In troubling times of terrorism, our trust is in God since he is the true Source of salvation. It comes from him, not us.

When we put our confidence in him, we’re able to wait with courage, serve with patience, and live with loyalty toward him. The “light of salvation” that shines in our lives beams out into a dark world walking in terror every day. Our aim is be a beacon that draws others to the light of that salvation, to give life and hope to all who are seeking it.

Corrie Ten Boom was a Christian who knew all about terror. It happened from her own experience as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp for hiding Jews during the Holocaust. But she became a survivor, giving testimony of the Lord’s grace. Years later she stated, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

If and when terrorism should strike, we know that God is always present to help us through it (Psalm 46:1). We can trust him as his Word tells us. For we do not know from one day to the next when terror may strike us. But we leave it up to our God to guide and provide like he has promised.

Good News to YOU!
Pastor Michael

P.S. Here is a Scripture Song from Psalm 91, “My God, In Him I Will Trust” by Esther Mui, http://youtu.be/67wC6-kWWSo

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