God our Refuge and Strength: Reflections on Tragedy

How should Christians respond to tragedy? And how is a Christian’s reaction to tragedy different than a non-Christian’s?

Chances are that sometime today, the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, you’ll see footage or hear conversations about the horrible experience of watching the Twin Towers fall. Like the 7/7 London bombings, the 2011 Norway attacks, and countless other acts of terror, the 9/11 horrors continue to challenge Christians with difficult, important questions about God, faith, and justice: how could a loving God allow this to happen? How can human beings commit such atrocity? How does human evil fit into a Christian understanding of life? What do we do when the world seems to be collapsing around us?

Pastor and author Mel Lawrenz has posted a message that addresses these questions directly. If you’ve ever struggled to understand these issues (and who hasn’t?), take some time out of your schedule today to watch “That’s the God for Me”:

The Bible passage behind Mel’s message is one that is often quoted by Christians during times of tragedy: Psalm 46, famous for this powerfully reassuring message:

“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” — Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

The entire psalm is worth reading, today or any day that your world feels threatened by tragedy, loss, disaster, terror, suffering, or discouragement:

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. — Psalm 46 (NIV)

Related posts:

  1. Remembering 9/11: Finding Hope in God in the Aftermath of Tragedy
  2. Pray for Norway
  3. Why Does God Allow Tragedy and Suffering?
  4. “The Lord Thundered From Heaven:” Thunder and the Authority of God
  5. Proclaiming Truth, Rejecting Heresy: Reflections on the Nicene Creed

Posted by Andy

Filed under Reflections