Sunday, September 11, 2016

Never Forget; Always Forgive

Today is a day that will remain in our hearts forever - whether you were alive in 2001 or not; whether you lived in NYC, Washington, D.C, Shanksville, PA, or not.  It was a day where evil prevailed.  "Evil is real, but so is courage."  I heard George W. Bush speak those words just today.  Unfortunately, there is no where in the Bible that says that there will be no evil in the world.  There was a brief moment in the Garden of Eden, but after Adam and Eve fell into temptation, the world changed.  There is evil in the world, make no mistake.  The devil is alive and well.  However, it is how we react to evil that God is concerned with.

So many people have let the events of 9/11 harden their hearts.  Many have let their grief overtake them for the last 15 years.  But this is not how God wants us to react to the evil that is found in the world today.  God is very clear - "If you do not forgive others their sins, your father will not forgive you of your sins."  Matthew 6:15 (NIV).  Jesus also states "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you". Matthew 5:43 (NIV).  I know every one prayed on that day, even people who didn't have a lot of faith.  But did you pray for the people who caused the destruction.  And in the 15 years since, have you forgiven them?  You see, the natural human side of us is to be angry and to stay angry.  And out of that anger comes judgement, hatefulness and harden hearts.  But God is very clear about how he expects us to react.  This may seem impossible; however, God never asks us to do something that he doesn't give us the strength to do.

When you remember this day, don't remember the evil.  Remember the lives that were lost and celebrate them.  Forgive the evil of that day.  Forgiving doesn't make it okay.  This by no means is accepting it as okay.  This is simply letting go and giving it to God.  God asks us to forgive not for others, but for ourselves.  If you have been living with anger, judgement and prejudice since 9/11/2001, let it go today.  Not for the evil ones - but for yourself.

Prayer:  God, I pray today that you will give me the strength to obey your word and forgive my enemies.  Also God, I want to pray for the evil in the world today.  Work in their lives God that they may see you, in me, in our country and in the world.  Thank you God for showing me how to be happy and loving even when other people are not.