I Really Hate Days Like This

Tensions in the world have greatly escalated in the wake of the downing of a passenger jet over Ukraine and an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza.

Thursday of this week was a bad day on several fronts. As Stratfor put it: “We ate breakfast to the news that an airliner had crashed in Ukraine. We had lunch to the news that Israel had invaded Gaza” (“Reflections on an Unforgiving Day,” July 17, 2014). There was a lot of information to digest, and it didn’t sit very well.

U.S. intelligence authorities say that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down with a surface-to-air missile over the war zone in Ukraine. All 298 people aboard the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed.

While each side in the Ukrainian conflict (the Ukrainian government and the separatists backed by Russia) are blaming each other for the tragedy, initial indications are that the missile was mistakenly fired by the separatists. Earlier they had downed a Ukrainian military transport, and they apparently assumed the passenger jet was carrying military personnel.

In the Middle East, tensions between Israel and Gaza heightened on Thursday when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the order to the military to begin a ground offensive in Gaza. This action escalated the 10 days of fighting that had, until this point, been aerial in nature.

Israelis want to live in peace without fear of rockets being launched at them from Gaza and claim that they have the right to protect themselves. The Palestinians, who can’t match the military firepower of the Israelis, want to publicize their plight as well as kill Israelis, who they consider to be the main cause of their devastated economy.

As one listens to the arguments from each side of a conflict—whether in Ukraine, Gaza or elsewhere—they can all seem plausible. The desire for a better life is something ingrained in all of us. But how can humans achieve their desires?

Unfortunately, humans have had a hard time ruling over this spirit of unrestrained anger. And in spite of man’s great technological developments, he has been unable to master this evil spirit that is relentlessly broadcast by Satan the devil. A simple perspective

On a simpler level, I was reminded of my 5-year-old grandson’s recent visit. Riding his scooter down our inclined street, he had fallen and skinned his knee. Not to be deterred, he continued playing and skinned the same knee once again. The day was filled with tears and despair. Before going to bed that night, he told his mother, “I really hate days like this.”

Echoing my grandson’s words, most of us the world over hate days like Thursday. We hate them because we come face-to-face with the reality that life is fleeting and that mankind’s inability to peacefully resolve conflict is literally killing people—many of whom are innocent civilians. The same spirit that led Cain to kill his brother Abel thousands of years ago is alive and active today.

Before that first murder, God warned Cain that he was experiencing an angry spirit that was leading him to sin. God said that this spirit wanted to control Cain, but that he “should rule over it” (Genesis 4:7).

Unfortunately, humans have had a hard time ruling over this spirit of unrestrained anger. And in spite of man’s great technological developments, he has been unable to master this evil spirit that is relentlessly broadcast by Satan the devil (Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:9).

Commenting on this perplexing human weakness, James wrote: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3).

The point is, controlling this ancient spirit of anger is a spiritual endeavor. Well-intentioned human efforts apart from God can at best have only limited success. Spiritual tools must be employed to combat the spirit of anger emanating from mankind’s spiritual enemy—Satan the devil.

If you want to better understand how you can effectively control the spirit of anger and find the peace of mind that we humans innately desire, we recommend you read The Mystery of the Kingdom and Change Your Life! A small investment of your time could reap priceless dividends.

Thursday wasn’t a good day. But it pointed us all to some important spiritual lessons.

Photo by Israeli Defense Forces/CC BY-NC 2.0

About the Author

David Treybig

David Treybig

David Treybig is a husband, father and grandfather. He and his wife, Teddi, have two grown children and seven grandchildren. He currently pastors the Austin, Texas, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association. He has served in the pastoral ministry for over 40 years, pastoring congregations across six states.

Read More