All of us have gone through some rough times in our lives. Whether it has been addiction, homelessness, depression, the loss of friends or family members, loss of your job and income, imprisonment, divorce or a host of other problems, we have survived. Some of us may be going through some problems right now.
We need to always remember that there is help for us in these situations. Remember the apostles when Jesus was still in the tomb. They were hiding and worried in fear for their lives. They had forgotten that Sunday – the third day that Jesus told them he would complete rebuilding the temple – was just around the corner.
See, Jesus and His Father are always there for us. Remember this psalm. Please turn to the 23rd Psalm and read it with me:
Psalm 23:1-6 (KJV)
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
We always have help and comfort in times of trouble.
Nine years ago today, I remember watching the news with my coffee before going to work. A news flash crossed the bottom of the screen stating an airplane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. A short while later I saw live pictures with news commentators recalling a small plane crashing into the Empire State Building and a quick flash of King Kong swiping at a plane. No one knew why an airplane had crashed into the building.
As I watched on TV, I saw a second airplane crash into the second tower. At this point everyone knew America was under attack. Later, another plane crashed into the Pentagon. Still another plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. A plane flying to Texas was re-routed to Chicago where janitors cleaning the plane later found four or five box cutters in the back pockets of the seats.
A religious war started. Interviews with members of families who had loved ones on board United Flight 93 told of stewardesses with their throats slashed by box cutters and a group of radical Muslims praising Allah had taken over the plane.
You see, America was founded on the principals of God, the Creator of all. And God is due the all praise for the United States of America being strong.
Let me read from a document:
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
While Jesus Himself is not mentioned in the Declaration of independence, Jesus was in the hearts of most of our founders and His teachings were an integrated part of our country. Anyone who doubts this just needs to read The Christian Life and Character of The Civil Institutions of the Unites States.
Our enemies most certainly believe this, as they are calling us Satan. Later on, I will show you Jesus’ method of dealing with our religious enemies.
Now after the attacks on September 11, America felt helpless.
Psalm 13:1-6 (NASB)
1 How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
4 And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Even though we may be hurt and suffer loss, and even feel completely abandoned, we can rest assured that God will take care of us abundantly.
Many people lost loved ones and friends that day. Many prayers were offered up that day.
People came together and prayed for others they never knew. Most people in America prayed that day for the souls of people murdered as well as for God to comfort the survivors and all families affected by this crime.
That day, just about all Americans made everyone their neighbor, just like Jesus told us to.
Jesus Himself lost a really close friend. Turn to John 11:32-35 and see how Jesus reacted.
John 11:32-35 (NASB)
32 Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled,
34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They *said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
35 Jesus wept.
Lazarus was a really close friend of Jesus. Jesus wept for His friend. On September 11, 2001 all of us wept for our neighbors we knew not.
After a few people on board Flight 93 found out other planes that had been forced into World Trade Center, “Let’s Roll” became the rallying cry when the passengers forced the hijackers to crash the plane before it could reach either the White House or the Capitol.
The flight recorder told a similar story. “Let’s roll” Was really “Roll it!”
A group of people decided to do something to limit the death and destruction that would have happened and sacrificed their lives.
We need to remember that God will help us stand against our enemies. We need to remember that in the end God wins.
Revelation 7:1-3, 9-17 (NASB)
1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,
3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
12 saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”
14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 “For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.
16 “They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;
17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
Jesus is in the center of the throne. It is through Jesus that our country will remain safe and flourish.
Remember earlier, I said I would show you Jesus’ method of dealing with our religious enemies? Well Hear it is:
The First step is to love our enemies.
Please turn to Matthew 5:43-48 (NASB)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’
44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Yes, we know who many of our enemies are. There are also enemies that we may not know yet. Love them all!
The second step is to treat everyone, enemies and friends alike, like you would wish to be treated.
Matthew 7:12 (KJV)
12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
The third step is to forgive the people who have hurt us.
Matthew 6:14-15 (NASB)
14 “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Jesus tells us we must forgive our enemies. This an important step in our fight. Without us forgiving our enemies, we insulate ourselves from God’s grace and imprison ourselves just like our enemies would love to see up. By not forgiving our enemies, we are actually helping them destroy us.
The fourth step is to pray!
Luke 21:36 (KJV)
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
We need to pray always to overcome all that is to happen to us in the future.
We also need to pray for our enemies!
Matthew 5:44 (KJV)
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Jesus commands us to pray for our enemies!
Finally, the fifth step is to fight our enemies is to spread the Word. Jesus commanded us to go out and spread His word to the entire world!
Matthew 28:16-20 (KJV)
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
We need to deliver the teachings of Jesus to the world, have people accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and Baptize them in the name of God the father, Jesus the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit.
Here is a fact you may not know: Muslims believe that Jesus was a man and was also a prophet. While they do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, a lot of Muslims are very curious about Jesus.
Before the United States military was commanded to burn Bibles printed in the two most popular languages in Afghanistan, soldiers were handing them out to Afghan citizens.
No, it was not an attempt to evangelize, as our soldiers were forbidden to do that under the threat of a court martial. Our soldiers were handing these out to Afghans who wanted to learn about Jesus and they approached our soldiers for the Bibles.
They were very brave, as they could be stoned for asking for and receiving a Bible. A lot of Muslims are parched and thirsty and only Jesus can quench that thirst.
This is how we fight our enemy.
Please join me in prayer:
Father in heaven, We thank you for you love and grace.
Father, we pray for you to strengthen us so we may forgive the enemies who attack us, and we pray for your protection from them.
Father, we also pray for You to show our enemies your Son, Jesus, and quench their hidden thirst for Him.
Give us the strength to stand up and offer our testimonials about Jesus to the world. We ask that You, Father, make the people of the world receptive to the testimony of how Jesus will satisfy them.
We ask all of this in the Name of your Son, Jesus.
We thank you for the gift of your only begotten Son, Jesus, whom you sacrificed for the forgiveness of our sins. Amen.
The sacred blood of Jesus washes away our sins and cleanses our souls.
Jesus told us to remember Him and gave us specific instructions:
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NASB)
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Join me in prayer:
Father God in heaven, thank you for this country where we have the freedom to worship you and your Son, Jesus.
Thank you for all the gifts you have given us in the past and will provide for us in the future.
Please help us in our Christian walk and give us strength to spread Your Word and teach the world about Jesus.
God, please bless the leaders of our country, state and local governments and help them follow your wishes.
Father, we lift up to you all the souls who perished on September 11, 2001 and the days afterward.
We also hold up to you all the families who lost loved ones and the survivors. Please comfort them.
We remember the people In the twin towers. We remember those in the airplanes.
We remember those in the Pentagon and in the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.
We remember the firemen and police, the construction workers that voluntarily showed up while the collapsed World Trade Center buildings were still burning to search for survivors.
We remember all the others who helped.
Lord, please bless them all.
Father, please bless America.
Trumpet fanfare and sing God Bless America.