This post last updated on November 12th, 2021
A Day of Infamy
December 7th marks the anniversary of Japan’s attack on the American Naval base at Pearl Harbor, the date which President Franklin Roosevelt said would “live in infamy.”
Not much has changed since 1941. The names and locations have changed, but the world is still at war. The bad guys have new names, come from different locations, wear different clothes, yet their goals remain. Death and destruction. Chaos and terror.
Author Joel Rosenberg tweeted,
Joel is absolutely correct in his assessment.
You and I both know this didn’t start with Pearl Harbor, or with the countless acts of aggression, battles or wars that occurred before 1941. You’re well aware that the evil acts instigated by mankind have been going on for thousands of years.
And, I bet if we had the opportunity to ask him, Mr. Rosenberg may well agree that being blindsided by an evil that one does not comprehend first happened in Eden, and continues to this day.
Since Adam and Eve disobeyed. Since Cain killed Abel. Since man and woman defied God at Babel’s Tower.
Yet, the loving Creator already had a plan for redemption (Genesis 3:15).
He Who Has Overcome the World
In John 16:2, Jesus offers some pretty damaging insight into the lives of His disciples when He tells them, “Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.”
The greatest example we have of this verse within the context Jesus is referencing is the Apostle Paul before his conversion, when the Jewish and Roman worlds knew him as Saul of Tarsus.
This was a man capable of the most extreme persecution against Jewish Christians.
In John 16:3, Jesus further explains that this persecution takes place because “they do not know the Father or me.” From that time until today, the murders of Christians and the persecution of the church are rooted in that truth, and before that in Genesis 3.
Jesus was explaining to His disciples the reason why the world hates the believer: because they do not know the living God. They hated His word first, and who is that word but Jesus?
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:14
At the end of this conversation, Jesus makes it crystal clear to His disciples and to us that there will be affliction or tribulation (John 16:33). Then he closes out this discussion with these words of hope:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.John 16:33
Times of Darkness
The events of December 7, 1941, like many “days of infamy” throughout history remind us that we live in a dark and fallen world. Days of infamy are becoming pretty commonplace in our constantly decaying world.
And, with the internet streaming life 24/7, we see it happen from all over the planet in real time.
My concern is that people will become so desensitized to evil in the real world that we will look at the evening news through the same lens as we watch television crime and drama.
It’s not just the big events flashing across our media screens, either. It’s the everyday stuff in your life and in mine. The difficult, heartbreaking, crappy side of life that weighs down on us.
It’s the aging parents who aren’t well, and the strained relationships with siblings. It’s the pitfalls and heartbreaks you and I survived that we watch our children endure.
It’s the sickness we see in the lives of our spouses or in our childhood friends, or our own illnesses. The late bills, the unemployment, dwindling savings. Endless life junk.
It’s the brokenness and the hardships we see every single day in our communities, our workplaces, our neighborhoods and in our homes.
When destruction happens and it is broadcast on all of our media channels, or more likely when the burdens of everyday life bear down upon us, it’s difficult and sometimes even unnatural for us to immediately look for hope. Even the greatest optimist feels the weight of life sometimes.
It’s challenging to try and make sense of pain, suffering and destruction in this life, especially when all of it seems pointless. Admittedly, I often ask, “Lord, why?”
My hope, though is in the assurance that I have found in a life surrendered to Christ. I strive to keep my focus on God and on His promising word while recognizing that growing your faith doesn’t come easy. Especially with the constant distractions.
But in that assurance, I hold on to the further hope that the voices who are reminding this world of an everlasting peace and hope (Philippians 4:7) will rise above the din of chaos, aggression, hardship and hopelessness with this eternal truth, and I hope that this truth will encourage you when you need it:
In him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.John 1:4-5