“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, through the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Psalm 46:1-3).
On September 11, 2001, many Americans felt the earth was giving way, the mountains were falling into the sea, and the waters of the sea were churning in the midst of a hurricane. It seemed the world was suddenly coming apart. Suddenly the fragility of life was thrust before us. Fear crippled. Security was now seen as an illusion, and still is. We were reminded evil is real. Hatred is destructive. All the evils of life became stark images of the human condition–war, hatred, prejudice, religion used for the purpose of hate and killing, abuse, abduction, pain, starvation, destruction caused by the forces of nature, disease, and death.
In the midst of the tragedy of September 11 we were also reminded heroes still exist. Courage does not waver. As a people we still pull together.
On September 11, 2001, as Christians we were reminded on that tragic day and today on the tenth anniversary, it is not our health or wealth or 401ks, not our intelligence or skill, not our nation or military strength, which give us true security. God is the one in whom our hope is secure. God is our refuge. He is our mighty fortress. God never withdraws himself from his people.
However severe and chaotic circumstances in which we find ourselves, God is with us. He is the source of our strength and the refuge of our hope. God’s people are not protected from bad things happening to them. Sometimes it may seem it may be, the people of God will face more hardship than the unbeliever. The faith the psalmist is expressing, especially as now seen in Jesus Christ, is that God is with his people whom he has called and saved. God is our strength to see us through the chaos. He is the strength to hold on to our faith, to live trusting God, and in that trust to be faithful to God in the way we live.
We believe, we know, and we trust the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. God and Christ are ever present with us in their Spirit. God’s love never forsakes us. Our hope of resurrection and of eternal life are secure and sure in Jesus Christ.
The world is a chaotic place. Evil wreaks its havoc everywhere. Whatever the circumstances in our daily lives, we live in the midst of it all. With faith and trust in Jesus Christ let us not be crippled by fear. Take refuge in God. Find strength through him. Trust his help and his word. Live in faithful obedience to him.
Pray for strength and peace in doing the will of God. Pray for those who are the source of the chaos and evil in this world. Pray their hearts will be softened and be humbled by the cross of Jesus Christ. Love with the love of Christ. Love even those who are so difficult to love and to serve. Speak of Christ when you can. Portray him in your actions and the way you conduct yourself as a Christian.
It is good to remember events like September 11. We need to remember the lessons learned. I pray the lesson we will remember as Christians is God is the one in whom our hope is secure, our refuge, our mighty fortress, and the one for whose glory we are to live.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).