We have just passed the tenth anniversary of one of the most horrible events in American and perhaps world history when thousands were killed on September 11,2001 in the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a downed flight in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Many are angry and hurt, and rightfully so ,but do we hold on to that hate and anger or do we try to move on and do what it says in God's word? Hating is easy but truly praying and loving your enemies is a whole 'different ball game' so to speak. It takes a strong person to not hate someone who is doing them or their country wrong. We do cherish our freedom here and we know still today forces are working even within our own country to try to 'take us out' but we also know what the Bible says about loving those who hurt you. Only through the miracle of God's spirit living inside of us could we reach out to those who have hurt us. Perhaps that is one of the challenges for us as believers to truly be able to forgive and move on.
A few years ago I remember hearing a story about a person who went to a prison to visit and witness and and ended up witnessing to her daughters' killer without knowing it. Also I heard of a Pearl Harbor survivor who later forgave and befriended a Japanese soldier who was part of the attack on Pearl Harbor back on 7 December 1941. It is only through the power of Jesus inside of these people that this was even remotely possible. Anger is fuming and boiling over and somehow we just want to get back at people. Proverbs 24:7 says "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles."
What happened both at Pearl Harbor and in NYC, Washington and a field in rural Pennsylvania was unspeakably awful but harboring hate is even worse. Yes we march forward and learn a lesson and be careful to protect ourselves and beware of dangers. Proverbs 25:21 says "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink." Terrorists like those who attacked us on 9-11-01 will be brought to justice one day. Their acts showed that there is a threat out there who does not like Americans and does not like Christians. Proverbs 24:17 says "Let not those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; let not those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye."
Matthew 5:44 says "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." "But wait, you say, this is not fair or normal to love someone who has done something really terrible to you". No you are right, humanly speaking. But we are to operate in a different realm. People say "well do you pray for dictators?" I guess we are supposed to. Pray that God would give you the supernatural ability to love them and pray for them to come to know Jesus as saviour.
So where is your forgiveness meter registering today? Is there someone who has hurt you and you simply refuse to forgive them? Are you having a hard time dealing with the atrocity of 9-1-1 and simply look at all Muslims with anger? I can imagine it would be hard to forgive someone who had shot and killed your family member or killed them in a car wreck but yet we are not to harbor grudges. What good does it do to hate anyway? It takes strength and courage to move beyond an offense and truly forget and forgive.
Now in the case of this great nation, what happened ten years ago was an unspeakable horror. Many innocent lives were lost. This was not a war where soldiers were maimed and blown up but innocent civilian victims just minding their own business. But yet we are told to forgive and pray for our enemies? By forgiving you are not saying what happened was okay but you are saying "I am giving up my right to hate you for what you did to me." We do not roll over and just say "Okay enemies come on in and attack us." That is why we have a military to protect us. Evil always will try to attack good.
Why does God allow tragedy such as this one? God is sovereign and He did not cause this. He is not evil. He can bring good out of bad and He has and He will. Psalm 9:9 says "The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble." If you do not know Jesus ask Him in to your heart today. God can turn all evil acts into good. The people that did this to us believe lies from the enemy. God is not their saviour and hate is what rules them.
Genesis 50:20 says "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." We can be praying that evil people who plotted against America will come to know you as saviour and Lord. It is possible. It would be especially hard for those who lost a loved one to forgive. With the power of the Holy Spirit it can be done.
PRAYER: Father what happened to our country back in 2001 was an indication that evil is out there and has hatred for no other reason than they do not like our way of life. We are not to show this kind of hatred.These enemies were believing lies from Satan. Lord we do need to be aware and be on our guard. Father help those dealing with unforgiveness of any kind be able to release it to you. It is only possible through Christ. Thank you Lord for our freedoms and we pray for those who try to take it away from us. Turn them evil to good and power of darkness to the power of God.Protect us from those who would want to do us harm. Continue to bring comfort to those who lost a loved one in this senseless tragedy. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Turn up your speakers, click the link and enjoy this very patriotic Lee Greenwood song, 'God Bless The USA'! Also please open your Bible and read Psalm 46.