A Set Back For a Set Up – The Silver Lining

A man does not yield when the mere universe has turned against him, he yields when his own heart has turned against him.  We surrender, not when circumstances are miserable, but when we are miserable.

 G.K Chesterton

I was recently sent something that I have not been able to get out of my mind.  I suspect after reading it, you won’t be able to either. It is a story that few will know.  It is from the book, Reflections on Pearl Harbor by Admiral Chester Nimitz.

After the December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called Admiral Chester Nimitz.  While attending a concert in Washington, D.C, Nimitz was paged and spoke to the president. Roosevelt told Nimitz he would now become Commander of the Pacific Fleet and wanted him in Hawaii.

On Christmas Day 1941, Nimitz took a boat ride around the massive destruction of Pearl Harbor. Row after row he saw sunken vessels of every size. The entire fleet was in deep despair and discouragement.  Nimitz later told the story there was so much depression that the people he spoke to felt as if the Japanese had already won the war.  After the boat tour of the harbor, a young helmsman asked the Admiral what he thought. 

The response shocked him and everyone else as it was not what they expected to hear.  Nimitz said, the Japanese made three of the greatest errors an attack force could ever make. Nimitz explained:

Mistake Number One: “The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave.  If those ships had been lured to sea and been sunk – we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.”

Mistake Number Two: “When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking them, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As of now the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore ready to man those ships.”

Mistake Number Three: “Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is on top of the ground in storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.” 

“That’s why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force can make. God was taking care of America.” In the middle of disaster, Admiral Nimitz saw the silver lining.  

No matter how you look at the above statements Nimitz was an optimist.  Although he professed no outward religious affiliation, he had a view that God would work things out. Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the job. This is something we need more of today than ever before to see God’s hand in our country. It is bleak at the moment as evil has such a stronghold, but it will take a person of faith to see God’s hand in what is happening. We will only really see what God is doing in retrospect. The wheat is separating from the chaff and the sheep from the goats. We now know where people stand on many moral issues, and people of faith know who is with them and who is against them. There is little neutral ground on most social issues today. This is spilling over into who we congregate with, and where we spend our time, energy, and resources.  

Covid Has Forced Us to Slow Down and Think on a Deeper Level.

The pandemic has forced many people to sit more in silence at home and reflect where they are headed. The cultural demise has been a factor for many to reassess their lives and level of involvement and what they are open to read.  Many who had not explored news outside the mainstream press, are now reading alternative news. They are reading other reliable news stories outside the globalist controlled mainstream media fake news. The pandemic has forced people to slow down, and this is a good thing. It took a crisis for people to evaluate their spiritual priorities as yesterday’s normalcy has slipped away to a distant thought. The evil being perpetrated on humanity by a global elite working on a depopulation agenda was unthinkable just a few years ago. But it was an agenda that was being carried out in stealth. If one is observant and open, it can no longer be denied. The chaos has made people choose which side of the fence they wish to fight, and fight for what they truly believe lest our way of life end as we have known it. Many have given greater thought to the spiritual part of life which is a fruit of Covid. The Lord can turn a negative into a positive as we have seen so many times in Scripture.  Just one story is how Joseph became a slave after his bothers left him for dead in the bottom of a pit, and he rose to exalted heights in pharaoh’s Egyptian kingdom. Joseph saved the Hebrew nation from starvation. A major set- back, became a set-up for the future, unknown at the time to Joseph and his brothers. As a result of Joseph’s position, the young Hebrew nation was saved. The Lord can use negative circumstances for his greater glory, and I do think we will see the same in time with our present circumstances. 

At some point it has to come down to what is our response in this time of trial?  Over the years I have become more interested in the subject of what we speak is what we get in life. When a person speaks, they speak either faith or doubt as it relates to the word of God.  Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.  One can then tell immediately what frequency the person is listening to depending on what they say. Show me a person who is a hypochondriac (an excessive preoccupation with one’s health), and you will usually find a person who is sick a lot. Yes, tending to your health is a necessity, but speaking negatively about your life all the time is the point. It is often the same with people who continually have bad fortune (some say luck). There are two sides to this expression of faith— the false and the real. The genuine and the fraudulent imposter. The concept of “speaking faith,” is talked about frequently by mature and young Christians alike.  One is real the other isn’t, because the Lord sees the motives of the heart. There is also a great deal of mystery around why some things happen and often don’t, much like why some people are healed and others are not.

Much of the false teaching can be relegated to the ‘Pillow Prophets” on television fund raising, giving the genuine faith dimension a bad name. The TV and mega church ministers often ask for a donation after telling the people they will get a hundred-fold in return to buy the new car, if they give right then, as they ask to pray over their wallets. Often these false prophets are living a lavish lifestyle at the expense of their congregation. However, there is a very real element of faith in action and how we speak either Faith or Doubt. Doubt and fear are Satan’s domain, and faith and trust is when God works. Scripture is full of people speaking faith rather than doubt, and speaking faith is when sea’s part, and mountains fall into the sea.  Miracles happen when faith is spoken.   

The Scriptures have an enormous amount of material on this. Whether it be a major or minor prophet, the stories are similar as it concerns speaking faith to overcome natural circumstances. The biblical figures in Scripture are there because they acted in an extraordinary way.  Laws of nature are suspended when the supernatural becomes a factor, and when God moves to alter an event for His glory. There is no end to the stories, but just a few reminders about how words matter in the faith realm.

Moses acted on the word of God to save a nation in exodus from Egypt.  Parting a sea for safe passage because God told him to do it.  Joshua coming back from a scouting trip in Canaan speaking faith that the Israelites could conquer after the other ten spies reported, “there are giants in the land.” Gideon winning a battle with just 300 men after his army had been culled from 32,000. Yahweh was clear to Gideon, that it would be Him who won the battle, not Gideon.  Daniel being thrown in the fiery furnace and the fire not consuming Daniel and his three friends. Esther operating in faith to save her people from the wrath of an evil plot in the king’s palace to exterminate her Hebrew people. With no food or water Esther and her companions fasted and prayed for three days, and her people were saved. Natural law is suspended in times of great faith as it is subordinate to the supernatural and will of God.

Chapter eleven of the book of Hebrews, I call the Hebrew Hall of Fame.  It was written by Saint Paul and is forty verses in total. Verse after verse are brief descriptions or vignettes about a major event in one of the giants of Scripture and their action. By faith Abraham, by faith Moses, by faith Elijah, by faith David, by faith Barak, by faith Jacob, by faith Isaac, etc. Note the language of speaking events into existence by speaking faith.

Moses is Told to Speak to the Rock

Scripture gives us the reason why Moses was not permitted to enter the Promised Land.  It has been a source of confusion for many, but Yahweh gives an answer.

Moses had a unique distinction of seeing God fact to face and had an unusual relationship with Him. Towards the end of the forty years of wandering, in the Desert of Zin where there was no water, so Yahweh instructed Moses to speak to a rock to bring forth water. Instead, Moses strikes a rock not once, but twice (Numbers 20: 10-11, and Deut. 32: 51-52). Moses did not do specifically as God commanded, and unjust as it may seem to us, it was a mistake that needed to be punished. God for His glory told Moses just to speak to the rock, not strike it.

The supernatural doesn’t happen speaking doubt. Miracles, signs and wonders happen when people speak the supernatural. I am surely not putting Admiral Nimitz in the faith hall of fame, but he spoke faith and saw the silver lining of how God could prevail in a situation with his cooperation. There is a lesson in that for all of us about speaking doubt in times of stress like we are seeing today. God has a great plan, we just don’t see it at the moment how He will work.  But, work He will for His glory.

Several verses on speaking faith are listed below. The bible is filled with this subject. The intersection of faith and speech are clear.  You cannot express doubt and expect God to move in your life.  It is by faith…. God acts. 

The tongue has the power of life and death. ~ Proverbs 18:21

As a man thinketh in his heat, so is he. ~ Proverbs 23:7

If you claim to be religious, but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.  ~ James 1:26     

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. ~ Hebrews 13:8

The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.  ~ Prov. 15:28

But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up into all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ. ~ Ephesians 4:15

What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. ~ Matt 15:11

A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit. ~ Proverbs 15:4

From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced. ~ Proverbs 10:31

I have made you the father of many nations — in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. ~ Rom. 4:17

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, on the evidence of things not seen. ~ Hebrews 11:1

From Genesis 1:1 (In the beginning) to “Come Lord Jesus” in Revelation, is the word speaking events into existence.  It is the very story of the Bible narrative from beginning to end. The silver lining in difficult times is in your outlook and who you serve.  Obeying Our Lord and His commandments will bring you through any trial. 

In the book of Esther, there was a plot by Haman (like e prime minister today) to kill all the Jews. Mordecai was an influential Jew in the king’s court and Haman had erected seventy-foot gallows to hang Mordecai. Queen Esther fasted for three days and nights, and the Jewish people were spared. The Lord intervened to save the Hebrew people because he heard the cry of Queen Esther. The king saw the evil plot against Mordecai was false witness and the next day the king hung Haman on the very gallows he had built. Evil has a day, as we are seeing now.  In the end God will win, and His people will be spared. We have to trust that God will hear the cry of His people against such an evil onslaught we are seeing today. Will the noose be turned on the evil doers of today as it was with Haman?  Hopefully, that will happen.

                                               Jesus I Trust in You