1 Corinthians 13:9-13 (ESV)
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Where were you when you heard America was under attack? Or when you first saw the footage of the planes flying into the twin towers? My partner and I had just left our shop to head out for a day of service calls. My phone rang and my partner said he just heard a plane had just flown into one of the twin towers. We decided to meet at the local McDonalds and watch what was going on. As I arrived the second plane hit the second tower. Just like around America everyone at the McDonalds were shocked, confused, vulnerable, and eventually angry. No longer isolated to other parts of the world, terrorism brought itself to our front door. As a nation, we were changed. In the face of such an atrocious act of violence our cores beliefs are challenged in ways we perhaps never imagined.
Paul encourages us to hold fast to our faith. In the face of any tragedy, it’s easy to lose sight of God’s goodness. Surrounded by pain, suffering, and sin we can become discouraged and feel overwhelmed by the situation. But God’s goodness and grace abound even in darkness. And he is always in control, even when, especially when, everything else seems so out of control.
It’s because of God’s goodness that we ultimately have hope. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, God can heal and restore our joy because he is the giver of true peace. When we are able to embrace that, we rise above the chaos around us to see his face more clearly. In the same way, we have hope for the future when all will be made right and justice will prevail. There will be no more tears and no more pain.
And yet the greatest of these is love. There’s such freedom when we open our hearts to love those around us. Yes, we love on those who are hurting, those who are alone, and those who have loved us. But the true testimony of Jesus is to “love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your father in heaven” (Matt 5:44-45). If we withhold forgiveness and mercy, we allow bitterness and hatred to take root—the perfect end to Satan’s plan. Don’t let him win any battles. Love is the greatest trump card of all time.
Dear Lord we thank You that You are in control no matter the situation. Help us to always look to You knowing that You are holding us in the palm of You strong hands. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.