Summary: We got through trials sometimes. Jesus said that we will have troubles in this life but that we should take heart because he has overcome the world. This was preached at a military chapel but it could easily be preached in a civilian church.

-We’re in a war!

-I know that the people in the military get that – they’ve deployed to fight in it

-Their families know it – because they’ve missed their loved ones while they’ve been fighting

-If you are a retiree you know it – because you’ve been there before

-But I don’t think the American public gets it

-They don’t realize that our country is at war

-In past wars, everyone was a part of the fight

-One of my favorite movies, especially of the Holiday season is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” One of the things that I like about it is that it truly is historic fiction. It reflects the history that was going on during that time. You probably remember the scenes where it shows George Bailey contributing to the war effort by leading the recycling drive

-In our current war, only the military and their dependents are really fighting this war

-For the rest of America, it is life as usual

-Did you know that we are fighting a war?

-I don’t mean the one in Afghanistan or the one in Iraq

-This war is fought here at home

-It isn’t for the Presidency or Congress

-But it is a war of ideology

-It is a war of hearts and minds

-But it isn’t the war on terror

-It is the spiritual war that Christians fight in everyday, against the forces of evil – the devil and his minions

-Paul in his second letter to Timothy understood this war well – he had been on both sides

-At one time, he had fought along with the devil, trying to stamp out Jesus’ church

-Until Jesus Himself confronted him on the road to Damascus and after a quick reeducation program commissioned him as an officer in His army

-Paul fought and won many battles for Jesus’ army

-As Paul writes this letter to Timothy, he is sitting in the enemies’ prison as a POW

-Hardship is part of the military life

-There were many nights when I was out training and the rain just poured

-I did what I could to keep the water out and to dig a ditch around my tent but it always seemed like I’d wake up in the middle of the night with a river running down the middle of my tent or hooch

-Later, when I took over my mechanized infantry platoon I had the only vehicle in the platoon that didn’t have a heater and every time we went to the field it seemed like it was a major cold spell

-One time it was so cold that our vehicles literally froze to the ground

-I don’t know how much money I spent buying cold weather gear so that I wouldn’t freeze when we were doing our annual train-up for our National Training Center rotation

-I coined the phrase, “You can’t put a price on comfort” when I bought a then high-tech pair of gloves for $60

-Later, when I got my own HUMMWV and driver, I ended up having to sleep on the hood because my driver would normally go to bed before I did and he’d take the inside and there’s only room enough for one to stretch out

-Hardship is part of the military life

-We had a saying when things weren’t going according to plan or the conditions weren’t very much fun, “Soldier On.”

-It basically means, “That’s part of this gig. Live with it.”

-As Christians, we will have difficulty in life. It may not be as overt as in other countries. In some parts of the world, like in Sudan, if you are a Christian it means that you are a target to be tortured, raped, have your home burned down or be killed.

-It is illegal in some Middle Eastern countries to convert to Christianity and if you do you will most certainly endure being ostracized by your family if not killed

-In America, we have it relatively easy but we still face persecutions.

-We may face ridicule, lose “friends” or suffer lost job opportunities

-In some parts of the country if you don’t go to a certain church or aren’t a member of a certain church body you will probably lead a lonely life or miss out on the best jobs

-My brother-in-law is one of the youngest bullpen coaches in the major leagues right now. He took over as the pitching coach at the end of the season when his team let the old coach go. The owner is not a Christian and has made it known that he wants a pitching coach with grey hair. His chances of chances of progressing in that team are limited despite his extraordinary leadership and coaching abilities. {PAUSE}

-An issue that has faced many a government official, even soldiers is that of treason

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