Manchester: Where Is God in the Wake of Terror
As the City of Manchester marks the first anniversary of the terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena we remember the 22 people who went to the event and never went home. One can only imagine the intense pain their families have suffered this year and our hearts go out to them. How do they make sense of what has happened?
We can understand their shock, anger, grief and despair over their terrible loss. Some may even feel that God has abandoned them, but He has not. On the contrary, God is always there for us no matter what we are going through. As Psalm 46: 1-2 says: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.”
The Word of God offers comfort to all who mourn. It also offers hope for people who are fearful about their safety. God loves each of us dearly and does not want to see even one person perish. Jesus came to save the world, not condemn it and He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.
How should we respond as believers?
After the attacks in Paris… Nice… Munich… Stockholm… London… Manchester and many other cities it seems there is no end to the trail of terror being perpetrated on European cities and the Church must rise up and pray for the healing of our wounded land as well as the future safety and security of our towns and cities.
We have seen this as many churches have held prayer vigils across the country, including Audacious Church in Manchester and the Manchester-based intercessory ministry, Prayer Storm has been calling prayer warriors to action.
We have also heard calls for people to stand together and not respond in hatred to people of other religions. This is only right. For people of all faiths, it is sickening to think that these attacks are supposedly carried out in the name of God. That is the furthermost thing from the truth.Jesus made it clear that such carnage is not from God, but from the evil one.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy,” he said in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”
The God we serve is one of mercy and compassion who brings life not death. The Holy Spirit is the Great Comforter to all who mourn. He is the one who helps us to get through times of tremendous trial, enabling us to pray the perfect will of God in every situation.
“The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:25-27)
Love triumphs over hate
Those who murder to advance a radical belief system accomplish nothing but another death-blow to their cause. Ultimately love triumphs over hate, truth over lies and life over death.
As Christians, we know that our fight is not against people but against evil spiritual forces at work. Let’s continue to pray for all those who are grieving and the safety of our nations, especially the UK where the terror threat level has been elevated to critical.
You may have seen the hashtag #WeStandTogether. Yes, let’s stand together with people of other faiths or none in our condemnation of terrorism. As believers let’s stand together in joint resolve to see false belief systems exposed and brought down.
Let’s pray for our enemies, those who live amongst us who are being radicalized, that they would have a change of heart. Let’s believe that our intelligence services will supernaturally expose evil strategies before they inflict harm.
“Where is God in the terror?”
This is a question some may be asking. The answer, of course, is that He is right there waiting for you to call upon His name and receive healing, deliverance, and salvation. For those who don’t know Jesus, I can guarantee you that receiving Him into your life is the best thing you could possibly do in your life and will give you such hope in these days of danger that we live in.
Simply call upon God as your Father, and invite Jesus to come into your life as your Lord and Saviour. Your life will be transformed as you pray this simple prayer. You will have such an inner sense of peace, knowing that you are safe and secure in God’s hands and no matter what comes your way, He will be with you. What’s more, you will be assured of your eternal destiny.
Manchester we stand with you as we have done with the other cities that have been targeted for terror. We are praying for you and all who are hurting, knowing the unlimited power of Jesus to bind up the broken hearted.