In the last several weeks, one of the first things I do in the morning is to check the latest news on what’s happening in Ukraine. I am praying much for those who live with fear and suffering…and who find themselves forcibly separated from family and home. It makes me wonder again, Why do wars happen? As I read the Book of Kings in my devotions, almost every chapter describes a battle or war. The nations are fighting each other, and even the kingdoms within Israel take up arms to kill and destroy one another. What’s behind all this? From studying the Bible, I see two basic underlying reasons. First, there is a real being called Satan. From the beginning he rebelled and became “hell-bent” on warring again God and God’s people. The last book in the Bible (Revelation) describes the great and final battle of Satan against the Lord and His angels. Thank God there is no doubt about who wins! So, wars, along with all the killing and destruction that goes along with them, originates from the influence of the evil one. He is described as the one who comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). The second reason for wars can be discovered right inside our own heart. The sinful nature is dark and likes to assert itself in pride and dominance over others. We may not have started “a war,” but we all know the powerfully negative “warlike” feelings when we have given ourselves to fighting others with our words and actions. James gives us clarity on these types of wars: “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:1-2). Ultimately, the larger wars start from the smaller wars within our heart. Instead of submitting to the Lord and receiving His peace, we let sinful desires drive us. We yield to ungodly passions such as anger, lust and rage. In such a broken world, so strongly influenced by the evil one and the sinful nature, the only real peace I find is in knowing the Lord Jesus. As the ultimate “warrior,” Jesus first conquers our heart by His love and sacrifice. The receiving of His salvation through faith in what He accomplished on the cross is the greatest weapon which destroys the power of all evil. Jesus conquers the hearts of all who come to Him and replaces the darkness with His light. And one day soon “the way, the truth, and the life” will conquer the world! His final victory over evil will end all wars. BE READY!
Pastor Mark Boucher