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It has now been over a week since the September 11 tragedy assailed our beloved nation. Perhaps the dreamlike characteristics of that dreadful day are starting to wane, and the horrific images and memories are infusing their way into our life perspective. What is the next step in the process of recovery? How do we continue to pick up the broken pieces? Although there are no simple answers to those questions, I believe that there are some conscious choices you can make that may help you in the process of healing.
Jesus said: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)
The waves of grief from this event will come and go, but the important part is to let them keep coming over you. You cannot receive the comfort God offers unless you allow yourself to mourn. Grieve in your prayer time. Grieve with your family and friends. When people attempt to 'get over' sad feelings too quickly, they shortcut the work that Jesus is trying to accomplish.
Paul said: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
Oftentimes our pride prevents us from accepting support from others. Yet if we refuse help from others, then we prohibit them from fulfilling the law of Christ! In difficult times, God sends people our way to assist in carrying our burdens. I don't know about you, but last week's events placed a tremendous burden on my heart. I need people to help shoulder my load. It is a big mistake to isolate yourselves from others when you're going through a crisis. You need other people in a tragedy. You need their perspective, you need their support, you need their encouragement, and you just need their presence.
Paul advises us to "get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice" (Ephesians 4:31)
Have no doubt; God will bring those responsible to an accounting- both in this life and the life to come. Our responsibility is to own our feelings of anger and bitterness, then turn them over to the One who is both just and merciful. He still rules over the universe, He is not asleep, and He will accomplish His purposes
Jesus promised "if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, `Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20)
Faith is facing the facts of life, and not being forever discouraged by them. That's what real faith is. It's not pretending everything is great or going to end up perfect. Everything's not great, and this world is only getting worse. There are bad things in the world. And bad things do happen to good people, but faith is facing the facts without getting discouraged. You see there's very little in life that you can control. In fact, I've discovered that the most important things in life are the very things you cannot control. Yet remember that God holds the world and your life in his loving hands.
Here are some verses to focus on this week. Write them down, memorize them, and let them echo in the depths of your soul.
"I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens, I can do all things through Christ, because He gives me strength." Phil. 4:13 (NCV)
"God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid even if the earth shakes, or the mountains fall into the sea." Ps. 46:2 (NCV)
"We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it...we saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us... And he did help us and saved us... and we expect him to do it again and again." 2 Cor 1:10 (TLB)
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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