Monday, September 12, 2011

Tragedy, Sovereignty, and Hope

"In the midst of the panic and the fear, there is a people who belong to the God of the Covenant... and in His arms, there is security and in His sovereignty, there is trust." ~ Steve Brown

Yesterday we remembered the tenth anniversary of 9/11, a date that for my generation will live in our memories as long as Kennedy's assassination or Pearl Harbor did for previous generations. A lot has been said about this tragedy--some good and a lot bad. The big question is, "Where was God during 9/11?" He was on His throne as King of the universe, where He has always been since before there was time. He never left it during 9/11, Oklahoma City bombing, Virginia Tech, WWI, WWII, or when two of my closest friends died a few months before 9/11. He was not somewhere else in the world and somehow missed it. He was not surprised by it. He has always been and will always be in control of all things. We cannot say He "did not cause 9/11" and yet also hold to Ro. 8:28. He cannot work all things together for good unless He controls those bad things that He works together, along with the good things, to accomplish good for His people. Why did He ordain 9/11? I have no idea. I could give a few possible reasons like bringing together a nation or opportunities for the gospel, but anything that I could come up with would surely not be close to a complete account of God's plans for 9/11 and would cheapen the lives lost in that tragedy. We must leave it up to Him and acknowledge that sometimes when the darkness surrounds us we cannot understand why. Yet, we cannot doubt in the dark what we have known to be true about God in the light. He is sovereign over all things, even 9/11, and He promises to work all things, even 9/11, together for the good of those who are His. If you deny the first you cannot trust in the second. If you deny the first you cannot have the hope of the second.

I recommend reading one of Piper's articles that he wrote shortly after 9/11: Why I Do Not Say, "God Did Not Cause the Calamity, but He Can Use It for Good". I also recommend listening to Steve Brown's broadcast that he aired on 9/12/2001: Tragedy, Sovereignty, and Hope.

By His Grace,

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