Billy The Humble

  • Category: Religion
  • Words: 1464
  • Grade: 100

We come together today to affirm our conviction that God
cares for us, whatever our ethnic, religious or political
background may be.
The Bible says that He's "the God of all comfort, who
comforts us in all our troubles."
No matter how hard we try words simply cannot express the
horror, the shock, and the revulsion we all feel over what
took place in this nation on Tuesday morning. September 11
will go down in our history as a day to remember.
Today we say to those who masterminded this cruel plot, and
to those who carried it out, that the spirit of this nation
will not be defeated by their twisted and diabolical
schemes. Some day those responsible will be brought to
justice, as President Bush and our Congress have so
forcefully stated.
But today, we especially come together in this service to
confess our need of God. We've always needed God from the
very beginning of this nation, but today we need Him
especially. We're facing a new kind of enemy. We're involved
in a new kind of warfare and we need the help of the Spirit
of God. The Bible's words are our hope: "God is our refuge
and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we
will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains
fall into the heart of the sea" (Psalm 46:1,2, NIV).
But how do we understand something like this? Why does God
allow evil like this to take place? Perhaps that is what you
are asking now. You may even be angry at God. I want to
assure you that God understands these feelings that you may
We've seen so much on our television, heard on our radio,
stories that bring tears to our eyes and make us all feel a
sense of anger. But God can be trusted, even when life seems
at its darkest.
But what are some of the lessons we can learn?
First, we are reminded of the mystery and reality of evil.
I have been asked hundreds of times in my life why God
allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I
really do not know the answer totally, even to my own
satisfaction. I have to accept, by faith, that God is
sovereign, and He's a God of love and mercy and compassion
in the midst of suffering. The Bible says that God is not
the author of evil. It speaks of evil as a "mystery." In 2
Thessalonians 2:7 it talks about the mystery of iniquity.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah said, "The heart is
deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can
understand it?" He asked that question, "Who can understand
it?" And that's one reason we each need God in our lives.
The lesson of this event is not only about the mystery of
iniquity and evil, but secondly, it's a lesson about our
need for each other.
What an example New York and Washington have been to the
world these past few days! None of us will ever forget the
pictures of our courageous firefighters and police, many of
whom have lost friends and colleagues, or the hundreds of
people attending or standing patiently in line to donate
blood. A tragedy like this could have torn our country
apart, but instead it has united us and we've become a
family. So those perpetrators who took this on to tear us
apart, it has worked the other way. It's backlashed, it's
backfired. We are more united than ever before. I think this
was exemplified in a very moving way when the members of our
Congress stood shoulder to shoulder the other day and sang,
"God Bless America."
Finally, difficult as it may be for us to see right now --
this event can give a message of hope -- hope for the
present, and hope for the future.
Yes, there is hope. There's hope for the present because I
believe the stage has already been set for a new spirit in
our nation.
One of the things we desperately need is a spiritual renewal
in this country. We need a spiritual revival in America. And
God has told us in His Word, time after time, that we are to
repent of our sins and we're to turn to Him and He will
bless us in a new way.
But, there is also hope for the future because of God's
promises. As a Christian, I have hope, not just for this
life, but for heaven and the life to come. And many of those
people who died this past week are in heaven right now, and
they wouldn't want to come back. It's so glorious and so
wonderful. And that's the hope for all of us who put our
faith in God. I pray that you will have this hope in your
This event reminds us of the brevity and the uncertainty of
life. We never know when we too will be called into
eternity. I doubt if even one of those people who got on
those planes, or walked into the World Trade Center or the
Pentagon last Tuesday morning thought it would be the last
day of their lives. It didn't occur to them. And that's why
each of us needs to face our own spiritual need and commit
ourselves to God and His will now.
Here in this majestic National Cathedral we see all around
us symbols of the Cross. For the Christian, I'm speaking for
the Christian now, the Cross tells us that God understands
our sin and our suffering, for He took upon Himself in the
person of Jesus Christ our sins and our suffering. And from
the Cross, God declares, "I love you. I know the heartaches
and the sorrows and the pains that you feel. But I love
The story does not end with the Cross, for Easter points us
beyond the tragedy of the Cross to the empty tomb. It tells
us that there is hope for eternal life, for Christ has
conquered evil and death, and hell. Yes, there is hope.
I've become an old man now and I've preached all over the
world and the older I get the more I cling to that hope that
I started with many years ago and proclaimed it in many
languages to many parts of the world.
Several years ago at the National Prayer Breakfast here in
Washington, Ambassador Andrew Young (who had just gone
through the tragic death of his wife), closed his talk with
a quote from the old hymn, "How Firm a Foundation ... ."
We all watched in horror as planes crashed into the steel
and glass of the World Trade Center. Those majestic towers,
built on solid foundations, were examples of the prosperity
and creativity of America. When damaged, those buildings
eventually plummeted to the ground, imploding in upon
themselves. Yet, underneath the debris, is a foundation that
was not destroyed. Therein lies the truth of that old hymn
that Andrew Young quoted, "How Firm a Foundation ... ." Yes,
our nation has been attacked, buildings destroyed, lives
But now we have a choice: whether to implode and
disintegrate emotionally and spiritually as a people and a
nation -- or, whether we choose to become stronger through
all of this struggle -- to rebuild on a solid foundation.
And I believe that we are in the process of starting to
rebuild on that foundation. That foundation is our trust in
God. That's what this service is all about and in that faith
we have the strength to endure something as difficult and
horrendous as what we have experienced this week.
This has been a terrible week with many tears but also has
been a week of great faith. Churches all across the country
have called prayer meetings and today is a day that they are
celebrating not only in this country but in many parts of
the world.
And in the words of that familiar hymn that Andrew Young
quoted -- it says:
"Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand."
My prayer today is that we will feel the loving arms of God
wrapped around us, and will know in our hearts that He will
never forsake us as we trust in Him.
We also know that God is going to give wisdom and courage
and strength to the President and those around him. And this
is going to be a day that we will remember as a day of
May God bless you all

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