It was June 4, 1940. World War II was already in its 10th month. Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg had fallen to German forces. Denmark had fallen in April after opposing Germany’s army for under two hours. Norway would surrender just six days later. And the brief six-week Battle of France was nearing its end – and France’s defeat.
The casualties were high. The outlook was grim. Hope was gone. And the world was at stake.
Enter Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Churchill had helmed the British government for less than a month, taking over from Neville Chamberlain, now best known for his failed foreign policy of appeasement.
On June 4, the newly minted and sober minded prime minister went before the House of Commons of the Parliament to warn the British people of a looming German invasion.
In what is now widely regarded as one of the finest speeches of the 20th century, Churchill avowed:
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end.
We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
There’s something noble and courageous about standing against the forces of evil – especially in the face of long odds and little hope.
Thankfully, we are not mired in an existential world war today. But we nonetheless find ourselves in a great and darkening spiritual battle.
In the United States alone, nearly 1 million preborn babies are killed by abortion every year.
Thousands of children have been irreversibly damaged by transgender medical interventions.
Over 100,000 people die from drug overdoses each year.
Deaths from suicide are at a record high.
Millions of people are addicted to pornography.
Millions more abuse alcohol.
Marriage rates have fallen by 60%.
Our fertility rate (1.66) is below the replacement rate (2.1).
Seven million able-bodied men of working age have opted out of the workforce.
Our borders remain wide open by current executive policy and our major cities are overflowing with illegal border-crossers.
Hollywood serves as the moral polluter of the world.
And the U.S. government promotes and funds abortion and contraception around the globe.
In short, what Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:16 still rings true today: “The days are evil.”
For faithful Christians living amid a “crooked and twisted generation” (Philippians 2:15, ESV), these facts beg the obvious question: How should we respond?
Psalm 11:3 says, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (ESV).
We propose three suggestions.
It’s often said that you can’t give what you don’t have. Despite the immense evil of our time, our first response should not be to look outward, but to look within. Sometimes, the only thing you can change, is yourself.
Are we walking as children of the light? Do we pray daily? Do we regularly attend church? Are we obeying the commandments of the Lord? Are we acting as salt and light?
If we say we love Jesus, do we live like it? Jesus Himself taught, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, ESV). Love and obedience go together. Faith and righteousness go together.
No single human being can solve all the world’s problems. But perhaps you can help solve one of them.
There’s an old story, inspired by 20th century writer Loren Eiseley, of an old man writing on a beach. He notices a small boy rescuing stranded starfish and throwing them back into the ocean. The old man tells the boy that there are thousands of starfish on the beach, and he can’t possibly make a large difference.
The small boy bends down, picks up a starfish, tosses it back into the ocean and replies, “It made a difference to that one!”
Here’s the lesson: Just because you can’t do everything doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.
If you’re able, pick an area where you are best suited to make a difference. Perhaps that’s volunteering at your local pregnancy resource center, serving at your city’s homeless shelter or donating to an organization you trust.
Lastly, preserve. Scripture repeatedly exhorts believers to persevere in righteousness and in doing good – perhaps because the Lord knows it can be tiring. It’s exhausting to even think of all the people around the world who need help.
Thankfully, the world already has a Savior, and we’re not Him. His name is Jesus Christ.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9, ESV).
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo, referring to the overbearing darkness of his day, tells Gandalf, “I wish it need not have happened in my time.”
So do I. And so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
What will you do with the time that is given you?
Despite the darkness of our day, one thing must be certain:
We shall never, ever surrender. For the victory is the Lord’s.
Focus on the Family offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.
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