ALACHUA, Fla. (BP)–When you see the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America, it’s easy to assume that evil is writing the story, but Christian counselor Steve Pettit says God always gets the final word and his hand is writing the final chapter.
“These attacks make us feel helpless and terrified, and can even make us think there is a force out there greater than God,” said Pettit, with One In Christ Ministries in Alachua, Fla. “But love always wins. God always gets the final word on any tragedy, and for me, that provides a tremendous hope.”
Pettit began receiving calls for help within an hour of the terrorist attack from families who had loved ones in New York World Trade Center’s twin towers.
In order to deal with the stunning magnitude of this event, Pettit suggested:
1) Acknowledge that God is still in control. “This isn’t the time to quote Romans 8:28, particularly to someone who’s just lost a family member,” Pettit said. “However, it is important to see this event through God’s eyes, look at it through the nature of God and not man’s point of view.”
2) Understand this did not happen independent of God. “That’s not to say that God caused these events to happen, but it does mean they cannot operate independent of God’s purposes,” Pettit said. “Isaiah 45 speaks about ‘treasures of darkness,’ meaning that no darkness is a surprise to God, nor can it pull events away from God’s hands.”
3) Be honest about your feelings. Be open about your feelings, fears, grief, anger and rage, Pettit counseled. “Get it out in the open and acknowledge it. In the Psalms, David writes, ‘When I am afraid, I will trust in you.'”
4) Forgive. “On a personal basis, we need to make sure our anger does not crystallize into rage or prejudice, whereby we fuel the evil ourselves,” Pettit said. “This event is not just about the enemies of Israel attacking the friend’s of Israel; it’s also about God’s enemy trying to force bitterness into every heart in the world. We need to forgive; otherwise, fear and rage will lead us to make poor choices, personally and nationally. We don’t want to make choices while focused on Evil, rather while focused on God.”
5) Let anger work for you. “Although the government has the role of responding to this type of terrorism, the cross proves that sacrificial love is the only force that can break the cycle of evil,” Pettit said. “Christ showed that only a love energized by God could overcome sin.”
6) Ask, “How can we be a better people from this?” “A tragedy of this magnitude can lead us to live in fear, or it can inspire us to become a better people,” Pettit said.