Updated on February 6, 2011
Sometimes it seems I’m the last to know what’s happening in the world. I didn’t know we had been attacked until well after all four jets had made their deadly plunge. My first inclination that something wasn’t right, was the lack of air traffic from the municipal airport that was then near my home. It wasn’t until much later in the day when I learned the full truth and struggled with trying to makes sense of the evil that was unleashed on the world.
It has been several years since that day. In the first few weeks, the churches were full of people. Charities were flooded with donations. The world seemed to be united to end the reign of terrorism forever.
Back in 1941 after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the country united for the common cause of justice. People prayed and rallied the country to stand up against the evil that had swamped Europe and covered most of Asia. After 4 long years and millions of casualties, the hostilities were brought to an end. Peace was short-lived. Wars and struggles for freedom erupted around the globe.
Am I being a pessimist? Absolutely not! On the contrary, our response to global terrorism is admirable and has already produced positive results. Afghanistan is free again and there is finally hope in a country that was completely hopeless. Around the world terrorists are being arrested and brought to justice. The war is not over, but we are making progress.
The more important question is what is our response as ordinary citizens. I have five suggestions:
1. Have No Fear – Terrorists main weapon is to create fear in the hearts of their target. It is also the primary weapon Satan uses to weaken faith in believers. Its not surprising that throughout the Bible we are told not to fear, but trust that God is near and protects those that trust in Him.
I will fear no evil (Psalm 23:4)
The Lord is my light and salvation – whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God (Isaiah 41:10)
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18)
2. Know Your Enemy – We face an even greater enemy than the terrorists. It is the same nemesis we faced in 1941 and the same we face everyday we inhabit this world. The father of all lies will twist the minds of anyone who will listen and make them even believe that killing innocent people in a fiery plane crash will win them a spot in paradise. Very sad indeed.
He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
The thief (Satan) comes only to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
3. Pray For Terrorists And Those Who Support Them – I can’t imagine how horrible it must be to grow up believing that God wants you to kill innocent people to earn His favor. Only Satan is capable of distorting and using people to come to this horrible conclusion. God is love, mercy and grace. He gave His own Son as a final sacrifice for all. Through the faith and prayers of millions, God brought down the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall without a shot. If He can do that, He can defeat Satan’s lies throughout the world and reveal His true nature to all who are in bondage to sin. Anything is possible to those that believe!
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44)
I am sending you to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me (Jesus) (Acts 26:17-18)
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:27)
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. (Matthew 21:22)
4. Don’t Give Satan A Foothold – After 9/11, people were naturally angry and demanded revenge against anyone associated with the attack. And we should seek justice and protect ourselves from future attacks. But we must forgive the people that attack us. If we do not, we condemn ourselves in front of God. Anger and hatred will open the door to Satan and we may become just as enslaved by sin as the terrorists. Hate the sin, forgive the people.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in darkness. (1 John 2:9)
For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:20)
If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:20-21)
5. Remember That God Is In Control – Its easy to forget who is in charge when calamity strikes. Remember that God loves you and will protect you. Read Psalm 91 and the other verses below. Place it in your heart and stand on it whenever evil is approaching. God will not let you down.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are upon you…This is what the Lord says to you: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:12 & 15)
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those with them.” (2 Kings 6:16)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in who I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling, even the Lord who is my refuge, then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against the stone. You will tread on the upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91)