Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Children are frightened by war, no matter which side their nation is on. The massive violence and destruction are terrifying. War has always unleashed the worst passions of human hearts. Hatred becomes raw. Satan delights in war because it drives people into satanic cruelty and often ushers them into eternity unprepared. Children need to be taught about God:
They must learn that the Heavenly Father feels for the human suffering on both sides of the war. It is more painful for Him to watch than it is for us (Isa. 63:8, 9).
They must be taught that hateful war is the result of sin which human beings, not God, have brought on the world. In rejecting and crucifying Christ, the world has rejected and exiled God. Until the great controversy between Christ and Satan is brought to an end, Satan is still the "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2). He is "the ruler of this world" (John 16:11), elected so by sinful humanity. But children must know that Christ is stronger than Satan.
They must see that in sending His only begotten Son into this sinful world, God has invaded enemy territory. He has not abandoned the world. His Holy Spirit strives with all of humanity on both sides of war, so that in the midst of the horrors of war, there are some people who show the spirit of Christ. Children need to know that the Holy Spirit is active. God has some good people everywhere; He has not abandoned the world.
Children must be taught to be glad for Psalm 91; to listen to each word, and choose to believe it. They must know that they are safe in the hands of Jesus and that no one can reach them there (John 10:27-30). They can do as Esau did and jump out of His hand (Heb. 12:14-17), so they do have a responsibility of their own; but they must be taught that Christ is faithful to them. Then lead them to choose to be faithful to Him--not with vain Old Covenant promises but with a heart response.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 24, 2003.
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