Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth (Psalms 57:5).
The loss of the Columbia space shuttle and the crew of seven on the morning of February 1, 2003 was a horrible tragedy. We all grieve for those outstanding young men and women and their families.
About six hours after the event, President George W. Bush delivered a short message to the nation. In his closing, I was blessed that he quoted from God's Word in Isaiah 40:26. Here is an excerpt of his statement, where he used the New International Version:
"In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther than we can see there is comfort and hope. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, 'Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.' The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home. May God bless the grieving families, and may God continue to bless America."
Regardless of party affiliation, I thank God for a Bible-quoting President who is not ashamed of mentioning His Creator and Savior and quoting His Word.
God is not the author of evil. He created the universe and pronounced His creation as "very good." James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights" (NIV). And Jesus said, "The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10, NIV).
We live in a fallen world, and bad things happen. But we know from the Bible that for God's people, He uses the evil to always work for their ultimate good.
I have heard that at least several of the crew trusted in our Lord and Savior Christ, and maybe there were more that I am not aware of, or perhaps all. Only God knows. But we can thank God for the certainty that those who knew Him are with Him in heaven, that He is a merciful God, and that His mercies are new every morning, even the morning of February 1, 2003.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.