The true strength of a person’s character is tested when evil descends. Extraordinary faith and hope are required to stand strong while fighting against evil. Ignoring the problem through blissful ignorance is easy. The majority of people take this route. The heroes who charge against evil face consequences and danger in this world, but great rewards in heaven. We can learn about courage and hope from those in history who were faced with gut wrenching circumstances and responded with jaw dropping bravery.
The Choice: Ignore Evil or Confront It
When the Nazis invaded and occupied the Netherlands, the nation’s residents were faced with a choice. Would they submit to the new rules, or would they stand with God and thus stand against the world? At first, sliding under the radar was fairly easy, but as the Nazis became more brutal, tough decisions had to be made. Soon college students were forced to sign a sheet pledging their allegiance to the Nazis to remain in school. If they refused, they would have to go into hiding or risk being captured by the Nazis.
The worst was yet to come. The Nazis began herding up the Jews in the Netherlands and sending them to the death camps. Christians were faced with a tough choice: Would they resist this slaughter of the innocent at their own personal risk?
Sadly, many Christians remained as neutral as possible. Some Dutch churches were famous for singing louder as the trains with Jews passed in order to drown out the cries of hundreds of innocent people riding to their deaths. They chose to protect their own comfortable existence rather than give heed to the brutality surrounding them.
However, there were people who decided to risk it all for the lives of strangers. They plunged full force into underground resistance operations and began hiding Jews and other endangered people in their homes, at risk of their own lives.
The Christians of World War two did not see an end to the immense darkness pervading their country. Whenever hopeful news would come over the radio, the rescue would eventually fall through. Even though the situation seemed hopeless, they kept faithfully resisting, and this eventually led to break through and the end of the war.
What will we do?
I sometimes wonder how I would have responded to evil had I lived during one of the most trying times in history, such as during World War II. I desperately hope that I would have taken the correct action when under pressure. What I wouldn’t pay for the opportunity to become acquainted with and learn from the brave members of the underground who knew the meaning of “there is no greater love than this, that a man will lay down his life for his friend”.
However, a trip back in history is not necessary in order to take a stand against evil. And as for learning from history’s courageous heroes, we can become intimately acquainted with their struggles and victories through the written works they have left behind. Right now, we are all faced with the same question that the World War two resistance fighters faced sixty years ago: will we take a stand against evil, or will we turn our heads and ignore the problem. Will we risk our own welfare to fulfill what God wants of us?
May we not be like the Dutch churches that drowned out the sounds of human suffering in order to protect their comfortable, safe lives.
May we have the courage to confront evil full force with the truth and the power of God’s Word.
May we be able to face the consequences, danger, and discomfort of combating evil with selfless bravery.
May we follow in the footsteps of those who have come before us, who risked it all to face evil, and in doing so, protect the life of another.