Message Borne of an Unspeakable Tragedy



“I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.” Psalm 57:9

When Pastor Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn, New York, contacted one of his congregation to comfort her following her husband’s tragic death when the World Trade Center towers went down as a result of the heinous terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, he was surprised to hear what she had to say. I wasn’t just surprised when I read this testimony in his book, “Breakthrough Prayer” on pages 223-224 (Zondervan 2003). I was deeply moved – and convicted. Not for the first time. Nor most assuredly for the last. For God has been working on my heart greatly for some time now when it comes to complaining, negativity, and self-pity. And when it comes to praise.

The woman Pastor Cymbala contacted shared that when she was having trouble sleeping one night after the unspeakable, indescribable tragedy she experienced, she felt so strongly the presence of the Lord and so felt His peace and joy in the midst of her immeasurable grief that she started worshiping the Lord. Worshiping God! Her husband’s body hadn’t even been found yet, and there she was seeking God, spending time with God, loving God, praising God, and even singing to God! Yes, worshiping God! For what had happened? Of course not! For who God is! For He is God!

If I made a list of every hard thing I’ve ever been through, every trial put together in my estimate still wouldn’t compare to what this woman endured not just on September 11 but in unbelievable additional trials in the months and undoubtedly years to come. Yet how much of my life have I spent moaning about my troubles rather than praising God for His love, His forgiveness, His mercy, His compassion, His care, His comfort, His peace, His hope, His joy, His provision, His healing, His salvation, His Son Jesus Christ, His counsel, His direction, His attention, His acceptance of me through Jesus, His plan for my life, His purpose for my life, His sweetness, His patience, His tenderness, His kindness, His graciousness, His grace, His Word, His physical provision, His infinite spiritual blessings, His promise of eternity with Him my beloved for me as a Christ follower, His countless other promises, His not giving up on me, His perfecting His faith in me, His redemption plan for humanity for all those who will turn from their sins and turn to Him, and on and on and on. If I praised Him forever, it would not be long enough to proclaim how amazing, how awesome, how breathtakingly lovely, beautiful, holy, righteous, and sovereign almighty God is! Oh, praise the Lord! God’s conviction is not to condemn us, but to lead us to repentance that we would choose to walk in His ways. Oh, bless the Lord! Bless Him forever!

Comments are closed.