After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself, perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:10-11 (NASB)
Today is 9-11-12. Patriots Day, a day of remembrance of an overwhelming tragedy experienced in our nation and throughout our world. The day commemorating an all out attack against all that America has stood for throughout her history.
Many of you like me can remember exactly where you were when you heard the news that there had been an explosion in one of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York. This report began a flood of reports that seemed to be unending on that day and for the weeks to come. As a nation, we were all brought to a screeching halt and we began to ask questions that would only be answered in time. Our President, George W. Bush, did his best to soothe us as a nation and draw us together in unity during the challenge as he reminded us that freedom had been attacked that day.
I was leading worship in fall revival services at the Providence Baptist Church that week. After witnessing the events of the day, I was struggling with how to lead a group of people in worship while knowing that everyone’s minds would be preoccupied with all that had transpired on that day. As I prayerfully sought God’s direction in music choices for the service that night, an old hymn text came to mind. Maybe you recall this hymn.
God of grace and God of glory, On Thy people pour Thy power;
Crown Thine ancient church’s story, Bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, Grant us courage for the facing of this hour.
For the facing of this hour.
Lo! The hosts of evil round us Scorn Thy Christ, assail His ways!
Fears and doubts too long have bound us, Free our hearts to work and praise.
Grant us wisdom, Grant us courage For the living of these days,
For the living of these days.
Cure Thy children’s warring madness, Bend our pride to Thy control;
Shame our wanton, selfish gladness, Rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, Grant us courage Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal.
Set our feet on lofty places; Gird our lives that they may be
Armored with all Christ-like graces In the fight to set men free.
Grant us wisdom, Grant us courage, That we fail not man nor Thee,
That we fail not man nor Thee.
- Harold Fosdick
Today, eleven years later, I see the threats of the evil one as strong as ever to attempt to steal away the freedom that we have as Americans. But even more so his attempts to steal the freedom that men can have in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May we be found as a people who are seeking God first in all that we do, especially as it relates to battling our enemy, Satan daily. May our prayer for our nation and for us as individuals be that of Harold Fosdick: “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour…for the living of these days…lest we miss Thy Kingdom’s goal…that we fail not man nor Thee.”