Although Thomas Paine was not a Christian, he was an American patriot who played a major role in the Revolutionary War days of 1776–1777. President John Adams later said of him, “Without his pen, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”
Just two days before Christmas in 1776 Paine wrote these now famous lines.
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine
patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that
stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
In a far greater way that impacts many millions of people now we have as a nation come once again to “times that try men’s souls.” Unless you have yourself sequestered in a remote cave, you know that the spring and summer of 2020 will long be remembered for the trials, the stress and the heart ache it brought to us.
Whether you are thinking of COVID-19, the lawless upheaval in the streets or the struggling economy, the pressure has been felt by everybody.
Today we have enemies on the outside—like China and Russia— but we also have enemies on the inside. They are deeply embedded in our government, our schools, the media and in many churches.
This is not a time for the sentry at the city gate to take a siesta or go on holiday. The danger is too great and the enemy too near for us to act as though we can take our leisure.
This is not a time for “the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot.” The “summer soldier” is the guy who takes off his uniform and refuses to fight because winter is approaching. The “sunshine patriot” is the person who will be there when all is going well, but when darkness gathers he will not show up.
The summer soldiers and the sunshine patriots are sometimes now referred to as the snowflake crowd. They are wimps. They are cowards. They won’t stand for the right things and they fall for the wrong things.
They have position, but they are unsure what to do with it. Unwilling to say “Stop” or to say “Go,” their only exercise is waving the caution flag. With them at the helm, the country fails. With that mentality in the pulpit, your church will fail. With parents like that, the upcoming generation will be failures.
So if we are going to sing “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus,” let’s find a spot and stand up. These trying times are not naptime. It is not the hour to pretend all is well. People across the land are lost, dying and going to Hell. The enemies of freedom are trying to destroy our country and enslave us in the chains of socialism, atheism and other wickedness.
In this day, in these “trying times,” who will stand up and be counted? Will you join me and be a true servant, a real soldier, for the Lord in “these times”?
If so, let’s —
1. Stay fresh in our daily walk with the Lord! Pray! Read your Bible!
2. Hold tenaciously to biblical truth.
3. Keep the joy of the Lord flowing in your heart and spirit every day.
4. Go to church where the “church” is still church. Stay in church.
5. Build a strong family.
6. Stay out of the Devil’s playpens.
7. Be wary of “false prophets” and “false teachers” (II Pet. 2:1–3; 3:1–3).
8. Be careful about the crowd with whom you run.
9. Vote on Election Day.
10. Do unto others as you want others to do to you.
11. Invest and involve yourself in the Lord’s work.
12. Tell others about the Savior every day.
For America, for our churches and for our families let’s not give in to “these times.”
With the anointing and the power of God, we can be “more than conquerors” (Rom. 8:37).