When tragedy struck our country this time last year, people were asking a lot of questions. “Why did this happen? How could God allow such a thing to occur? What good could possibly come from this?”

Scripture is clear that God is both sovereign and good. You know, Romans 8:28: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good. Did you catch what it says? “All things.” God causes all things (that’s the hard part) to work together for good.

And although the emotions surrounding September 11th linger, we have gained perspective with the passing of time. We see more clearly now what we had to claim by faith then — the fact that God loves us. He has a purpose for what happens in our lives, and good will come of it. You are not a victim of chance. None of us are.

Looking back, did any good come out of this tragedy? Absolutely! First, remember the amazing groundswell of unity in our country? How many times have I thought, “God, how could You ever reach this whole country? We’re so scattered and going in so many different directions.” But unified in suffering, people dropped their differences. Even the most liberal politicians said, “Whatever the President wants — -we are behind him.” Incredible! A week before, who would have believed that could happen?

How about our increased sensitivity to the realities of life? Did you remember that CEO on CNN? He lost 700 employees, including his brother, who worked on the 100-105th floors of Tower II. This guy ran the biggest bond-trading firm in the world, and he wept like a baby on national television — broken and groping for answers. People say, “God is a crutch.” They’re right! He’s the only One who can hold you up! Money is meaningless. Life is short. God is real. Get it?

What good could possibly come from this tragedy? C.S. Lewis said that God whispers to us in our well-being but shouts to us in our pain.

Last year’s tragedy led to the bold proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ and unprecedented opportunities and unparalleled openness. Remember Franklin Graham on the Hard Ball program? If ever there was a hardball, it’s host Chris Matthews. Graham looked him right in his eyes and launched a five-minute presentation of the Gospel. It was so clear. All Chris Matthews could say at the end was, “Thank you.”

What good came of this? I can’t give you the whole list, but we serve a God who is righteous and faithful and true. Everything He allows, He allows for a purpose. Again, Scripture says that God causes all things to work together for good [and here’s the key] to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

So the question comes: Are you committed to God’s purposes? Do you love God? Because if you don’t then you will never see the good that comes out of heartache. No national tragedy. No personal tragedy. You will never experience His gift of wisdom, grace, and increased faith in an awesome God that naturally follows. You might seek it, but you’ll never know it. God only brings good to the heart that is yielded to Him. You say, “Well, I want that! How do I yield to Him?”

Luke 13:4 says, “those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them — do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?” Do you think the people who were in the towers in New York when they fell, do you think that they are more guilty than the people who survived? Jesus said,”I tell you no! But unless you repent, you too will perish.” The question is when, not if.

If you have never turned from your sin and by faith embraced the forgiveness provided by Jesus Christ, do it today. Don’t let an opportunity like this slip away. Two thousand years ago Jesus came into the world and died on a cross and rose from the dead to prove that He is God, We’ve asked the question: has good come from this tragedy? I say, yes. Multitudes of people will be in heaven someday because God got their attention last year!

Does He have your attention today? He loves you. He wants a personal relationship with you. He can use whatever circumstance necessary to wake you up to the realities of eternal life and death. Today is the day for you to decide to surrender to Jesus Christ because one lesson we did learn on that tragic Tuesday last year is . . . that tomorrow may be too late.

Copyright 2003 – Walk in the Word. Used by permission. Dr. James

MacDonald is the Bible teacher on the daily national radio program Walk in the Word. If you enjoyed this devotional, visit us weekly at walkintheword.com

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