Dear Friends,

I was away for a day of prayer when Kristen called with the news of the terrorist
attack on our country. At the time she called I was writing down a Scripture
to meditate on to encourage us, the men I work with and others, in light of
the shaky economy and difficult financial struggles some were facing in their
business and personal lives. I was writing out God’s Word from Psalm 112,
especially verses 1,7& 8, which says: “Praise the Lord. Blessed
is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. He will
have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His
heart is secure, he will have no fear…”
As I began to write,
the phone rang and Kristen, in tears, told me all that had happened. In my shock,
by God’s grace, the above Scripture came to mind and I told Kristen to
get her Bible and turn to this Psalm and read these verses. As she read, she,
as I had already, felt the strength and the peace of the Lord even in the midst
of this horror and tragedy. We then, with great emotion, prayed for our President,
the victims and all of us who are so hurt by this incredible evil.

Over the past two days as we prayed and thought about all this it seemed the
Lord led me to share with you the truth of the title of this letter, the security
and strength and foundation we have or can have in Jesus Christ our Rock. God,
in his great mercy, has made a way for you and me and all who will (Romans 10:
9-13) to ultimately be delivered out of every trial and tragedy the world, the
devil and the flesh (our fallen nature) can throw at us. And Jesus is that way:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through me.” “For there is one God and one mediator
between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..” “And on this rock I
will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it.”

(John 14:6; 1Timothy 2:5; Matthew 16:16-18; 7: 24-27) The Rock is the revelation
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (God the Son). Jesus, God Himself, has come
to save us, to deliver us from Satan, sin and death unto eternal life. “In
this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
“He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more
death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed
(John 16:33; Revelation 21:4))

Our prayer for our President, leaders of our country and all Christians is
that we will have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) not human wisdom and
that we will humbly and zealously follow Jesus our leader, “the
commander of the army of the Lord
” (Joshua 5:14). As Kristen
and I have been listening to our Christian leaders and praying with God’s
people we have been praying for comfort and wisdom to share with you. By the
time this letter reaches you, God alone knows what may happen in the interim,
but for now let me share these thoughts.

I. We are called and exhorted in Scripture to have an eternal perspective
on all of life and live daily in light of eternity.
Read in Luke 12:
1-7 and Luke 13:1-5 where Jesus speaks on human suffering and says that all
the disasters of this life pale in comparison to the ultimate disaster for those
who reject Jesus Christ. Jesus says fear God, repent, and admit you are a sinner
(for all have sinned – Romans 3:23) and receive Him by faith as your Savior
(John 1:12) now, today, for none of us know our appointed time (Hebrews 9:27-28).
For believers, Jesus says in Luke 12:1-9; 35-40 to fear God, not men and thus
not be afraid to speak His Name openly, serving Him faithfully day by day watching
for His return to receive God’s full reward for obedience. Some Christians
seem to have no fear of God in this respect, assuming wrongly that if you are
saved, that is all that matters. But the Scriptures teach that disobedient Christians
who do not live as servants and stewards in light of Christ’s return will
“suffer loss” (not lose their salvation) at the judgment seat of
Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15) Those two words, suffer and loss, really hit
home in light of this week’s great suffering and great loss. Yet eternal
loss, the soul’s capacity and ability to serve and glorify God throughout
all eternity, will be a greater loss. As true believers our eternal security
is guaranteed (Ephesians 1:13-14) but our eternal significance in the eyes of
God must be more important than our temporal significance in the eyes of man
or we will shrink back and not live by faith. (Hebrews 10:35-39; Luke 16:15)

II. What is our temporal response to be in dealing with all of our
emotions, grief, anger confusion, fear…
. My friend Dave Reudelhuber
gave us a good teaching on this at our Friday morning men’s fellowship
at Chili’s. He showed us in Scripture God’s “complainers”
and the difference between good grief and bad grief in our relationship to God.
Job, Jeremiah (Lamentations 3:13-27), Moses (Numbers 11:10-15) Habakkuk (He
was in a similar quandary asking God why He would let an “evil”
nation like Babylon bring destruction to Israel- God’s people) and even
Jesus on the cross cried out in their hurt and pain asking God why He had let
them down, forsaken them. But even in their pain they kept talking to Him, wrestling
through to yet again trust Him and even praise Him. As C.S. Lewis writes in
The Screwtape Letters which is a story of the instructions by a senior devil
to a junior devil on how to tempt man and keep him from doing God’s (they
call God the Enemy) will. “Our cause is never more in danger than when
a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will,
looks around upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished
and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.” Bad grief is when
a person looks around and cannot see God’s love and goodness and says
in essence, “That’s not my kind of God. I’ll trust in my own
resources or other people but not God.” If we put our trust in our military
and government and American pride more than the Lord we could be in trouble.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses (war power in ancient
days) but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
” (Psalm 20:7)
Yet Scripture also teaches us that a “just war” is both righteous
and even commanded. Romans 13:1-7 says that all government is established by
God and called to “bear the sword” (bear arms) to “bring punishment
on the wrongdoer”. Turning the other cheek and loving our enemy (Matthew
5: 38-48) is our personal response toward those who hurt us thus not taking
the law into our own hands such as throwing rocks at mosques or being unkind
to an Arab.

III. Is God in control? Absolutely! He is never out of control and
has every detail of our lives in His loving hands. (Revelation 4&5 and Psalm
Although these terrorists were motivated by a false god and a
false hope for rewards in heaven and deceived by the great deceiver Satan, don’t
give Satan more credit than he is due. God is in control of Satan and limits
his evil, murderous ways according to His ultimate purposes and consummation
of human history. (See Job 1&2; Luke 22:31-32; Revelation 9:4-5) God has
allowed this for a purpose that we cannot fully understand. Thousands of God’s
people have been praying for revival for years and revival is preceded by deep
heartfelt repentance and “turning from our wicked ways”. (2 Chronicles
7:14) Often in Scripture, such as Habakkuk, Divine discipline is needed to bring
us to our knees, not just to ask for God to restore peace and safety, but to
ask God’s forgiveness for the way we have spurned Him and ignored Him
and sinned greatly against Him in hundreds of ways as Americans. I believe our
only hope for the future of America is the mercy of God in response to a truly
repentant people that will not only just pray, but also pray and obey. So let
us pray that our Lord will have mercy and wake up and raise up this sleeping
giant in America, His church – you and me, sister and brother. And that we will
know His purpose and will for this nation and by His power and for His glory
alone, faithfully carry it out until Jesus calls us home or returns for us.
And speak that lovely Name, the Name of Jesus, to others who are lost and hurting
and maybe seeking the one true God. Jesus, God Himself and the only way to the
Father. Jesus, our soon coming King of Glory! “To the only wise
God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power both now and forever.
Amen.” “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.
(Jude 25; Revelation 22:21)

Len and Kristen

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