On September 11, 2001, our country watched in shock as the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States unfolded horrendously before our eyes.

Islamic terrorists hijacked four passenger jets and aimed them at buildings that represented the power and might of America—the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Nearly 3,000 people were killed.

The surreal images of planes slamming into buildings, of people desperately fleeing for their lives, of thick smoke and dust rising from the depths of the collapsed towers to the highest points of the once majestic buildings are forever etched in our minds.

People struggled with the age-old questions: Why does God allow so much evil in the world? If God is truly in charge, then why do terrible things happen to good people?

The truth is that nobody is immune from pain and suffering. People who love God and follow His commandments will experience suffering in their lives at some point. In fact, the Bible tells us that God often brings trials to His people to strengthen their faith.

The horror and pain of 9-11 will always be with us—a stark reminder that we live in a fallen world marked by sin, by hatred, by violence.

But God didn’t create a world filled with suffering and evil. He gave us a perfect world, a paradise. Genesis 1:31 tells us, “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”

God created us to love and serve Him, and to love one another as we love ourselves. But He also gave us a free will to love or not to love, because loving is a choice.

And in our flesh, we took the freedoms that God gave us and turned away from Him. The Bible tells us that sin and evil do not come from God, but from Satan, and they entered this world when Satan deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden.

Satan still whispers smooth lies into our ears: God doesn’t give you all you need and deserve, he says. God is holding back on you. He doesn’t care. He just wants to bury you in religious rules and regulations, Satan says. Do this, don’t do that! God wants to steal your joy.

However, we know that God has not lost the battle to Satan. The Scriptures tells us in John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” No matter what our problems are, or what temptations we face in life, God is with us. He strengthens us. And according to Matthew 25:41, God will banish all evil “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” God will come and take us home.

What about the here and now? Where is God when life has beaten you down, when the bills are due and your wallet is empty? Where is He when the doctor says, “I have some bad news”?

Actually, He is standing right next to you, strengthening you and protecting you from the traps and the lies of the Evil One.

In John 16:33, Jesus gives us this promise, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.”

That’s a wonderful word, isn’t it? Peace! Daily life can be overwhelming, a non-stop marathon from the moment you wake up in the morning until you finally drift off to sleep at night. There’s barely a moment to pause, to pray, and to worship Our Lord and Savior before the demands of life return.

You must examine your heart. Will you be angry at God because you never did anything to deserve life’s trials? Or will you hear the voice of God who spoke these words to Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

What an incredible promise!

Listen to the voice of God in the midst of your suffering, in the deepest darkest times, and allow Him to lead you to a more intimate relationship with Him.