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Focus on America

Walking in peace

The tragedy of September 11 has cast a cloud of anxiety and fear across our nation. It is especially evident at the airports with the heightened security, the body searches, the parking restrictions and the presence of the military. I have not yet grown accustomed to seeing soldiers dressed in combat fatigues with automatic rifles patrolling our airports with orders to protect us, no matter what it takes.

It’s a sad day for society but a great day for the church. The Bible and church history tell us that the church does its best in bad times and does its worst in good times. People instinctively turn their thoughts to God and some to the church during times of crisis. We must be ready with an adequate response.

I vividly remember the evening when Desert Storm was launched by the allied coalition against Iraq. Our midweek service had just begun and when we learned that the ground war was under way, all Bible classes were dismissed and everyone gathered in the sanctuary to pray. And what a prayer time we had. Several people had family members in the war and this added to our prayers of desperation. Three days later, victory was assured and, unfortunately, the intercessory prayer time lost its appeal. For years, I have received comfort from 2 Timothy 1:7 during times of stress: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (NKJV).

God’s peace in our lives is not dependent on outward circumstances or economic conditions. In fact, during difficult times God’s peace can be the most evident. Hopefully, these days of uncertainty will remind us that peace with God is our most important treasure and it cannot be stolen by thieves, eaten by termites or destroyed by rust. I heard a comment recently that sums it up very well — "I cannot end up with less than I started with because I started with nothing. Now I have Jesus and that is all that really matters." Fear is from Satan, and it is God who gives us peace, no matter what kind of storm we find ourselves in. I choose to walk in God’s peace.

— Charles E. Hackett

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