September 28, 2001
"How do we live through crisis? How do we go on?" Dr. Wendall Lang asked Oklahoma Baptist University students during his Sept. 26 chapel address.
Quoting James 2:2, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials," Lang discussed turning devastation into defining moments in life. It is through trials that Christians truly learn to rely on Jesus, he said.
Lang told students about a Philippine man named Bena Vinverabello who stood strong in the face of adversity.
While waiting for the students to arrive at the school where he taught, Vinverabello was attacked by guerilla troops who stormed his classroom and demanded that he remove the Philippine and Christian flags, Lang said. When he refused they shot him repeatedly and then tore the flags and covered his body with them.
When his colleagues emerged from their hiding places, they found that the flags were absorbing the blood from his wounds. They rushed him to a local hospital in an attempt to save his life. When asked why he didnŐt tear down the flags Vinverabello replied, "Sir, there comes a time in the life of every man that they must live like that in which they say they believe."
Jehoshaphat also remained faithful as a leader during trials, Lang said. Reading 2 Chronicles 20:3, Lang described Jehoshaphat realizing that his only hope was in the Lord when an army from another land threatened to attack.
Lang drew parallels to the crisis the United States is now facing. He challenged students to be committed to pray and be committed to praise.
"If the crisis of our nation does not cause me to be a prayer warrior, then something is wrong," Lang said. "Our praise should be more then singing songs to a tune that we kind of like. It is praising a sovereign God and giving glory to him."
Just as Jehoshaphat had a restored vision following his trial, Lang said that the time would come for the U.S. as well.
"Life is short. Sin is deadly," he said. "It hurts when you lose someone you love. If we really care about our friends then weŐll share Christ with them."
Lang said that only through Jesus can a disaster become a defining moment where we see the rainbow through the rain.
"Some people meant this for evil but God can use it for good," he said. " It becomes a defining moment when we see GodŐs heart at work, when we see GodŐs hand at work."