Memorial Day, which many of us will observe tomorrow, is the time we set aside to commemorate those who died while in military service to the United States of America. It is an important holiday to those of us who have lost family members, friends and comrades in arms. Beginning in 1775 with the American Revolution until today, our proud nation has championed causes of freedom and justice in every generation, offering our bravest and our best in defense of our chosen causes.
To give you an idea of the numbers of our brave men and women from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, who have lost their lives while serving in defense of our freedoms, allow me to show you these figures:
US Casualties of War 1775 – Present
(A total of 65 declared wars, conflicts, and deployments)
(Source: Wikipedia online )
Killed In Action 1,321,612
Missing In Action 38,159
Average US Military Deaths per Day 1775 to present:
1775 – Present 239 Years 87,235 Days
Total US Military Deaths Since 1775 1,321,612 Deaths
Average Deaths per Day 1775 - Present 15+ Deaths per Day
Since 1775 until today, the United States of America has averaged deploying its military forces to fight at least one new war or armed conflict every three and one half years. The need to process war has always been and will always be present in every generation and without the brave men and women of our nation who stand willing and ready to defend our freedoms, the United States of America, along with the values we so dearly hold and the benefits we so greatly enjoy would long ago have ceased to exist.
War has been a big part of our nation’s history and will no doubt continue to be for as long as time remains. Those who imagine a utopian society where war and famine, sickness and disease, poverty and stupidity no longer exist are fooling themselves.
Greed, lust, envy, hatred, wickedness and other base carnal appetites of man existed long before there was a United States of America and in fact since the beginning of mankind on planet earth, men have been involved in war … war as a result of something man did not start and a war which man cannot end.
For the most part, war is always between good and evil – the good guys and the bad buys … you know the stories, you’ve seen the movies, you’ve read your history. In every age there are evil men, destitute of common good and bent on destruction of one sort or another. However, these men are but puppets on the world’s stage, playing the parts they are given by the forces of evil which hate good and hate righteousness and hate God.
Placing Our Trust In God
A little history and some reasonable dates for those of us who like such:
- The Apostle Paul was most likely born around the year AD5
- He became a believer in Jesus as Messiah at about 26 or 27 years old when he had his Damascus Road conversion experience.
- Near 35 years later Paul is in prison in Rome and knowing he is about to be martyred writes a last letter to his spiritual son, Timothy.
- About AD 67 Paul is beheaded by order of Nero, Emperor of Rome.
- The Book of 2 Timothy contains the last words God spoke to us through the Apostle Paul. Each word of the Bible is sacred, holy, powerful and true. However, last words seem to hold added weight.
2 Timothy 1 NKJV
6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
This morning God is encouraging us to have and hold on to our confidence in Him and His plan for all mankind. Life does not unfold nor are we rewarded according to our own works but rather according to God’s own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. You can afford to be confident because it is God who works in you.
Seeing that we have such a purposeful God who has saved us and called us with a holy calling let us hold fast to the faith we place in Him. Trust the Lord in all things and remember that:
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. These things combat and overcome fear.
If a messenger from heaven miraculously appeared to us right now with all of his splendor and glory, shinning with the brightness of God’s eternal light, most likely the first thing he would say to us would be: “Fear Not!”
When God looked for a man whom He could anoint to be King of all Israel he found a young boy named David. The Bible records God accounting that He found a man after His own heart. David wrote a Psalm concerning the trust and confidence he had in God. In all of Psalms 91 David encourages us to put our trust in God. He testified:
- God will be with you in trouble
- God will give His angels charge over you
- God will hear you when you call
- God will deliver you and cover you
- God will satisfy you with long life
- God will show you His salvation
- If you will simply love and trust Him …
Let me ask you right now:
- Do you love Him?
- The scriptures tell us that we love Him because He first loved us.
- God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son and whosoever believes in Him shall never perish but shall have eternal life.
- Perhaps that’s the long life King David was referring to in Psalm 91. Only eternal life can fully satisfy the soul of man.
- God is willing to show you His salvation right now through Jesus Christ, His Son.
- Jesus said:
- “If any man thirst let him come to Me and drink.”
- “If any man comes unto Me I will in no wise cast him out.”
- “If you love Me you will obey Me.”
- The first question: Do you love Him this morning?
- The second question: Will you trust Him?
God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind
Even on this Memorial Day Eve, while our nation remembers the costs of freedom and values the lives given in sacrifice so that we might in pursuit of the great American dream– let’s also remember the ultimate sacrifice of life wherein Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God, freely laid down His life so that we might live forever and embrace God’s great plan throughout eternity.
Whether in this life or in the life to come …
Place your trust in God!