How blessed is the trial that causes us to lose confidence in our flesh, and turn to Christ.
How blessed in the tragedy that crushes our trust in earthly princes and causes us to turn to Christ.
It turns out, for many of us, that America is not the land we once thought.
Our capital is run by crooks and conmen, verified recently by none other than a former President, Jimmy Carter.
Years of political activism by conservatives and the Christian right have done nothing to stem the tide of decay. Homosexuals have adeptly grabbed the reigns of power and are directing the esteemed halls of the very Supreme Court.
Socialists have gained every major goal they set out achieve, from Social Security to health care.
Warmongers have kept us in perpetual war for decades by filling our minds with imaginary enemies. They’ve spilled the blood of our youth and those of so many nations, and emptied the vaults of our Treasury.
The rich and powerful have gained full control of the reigns of government and are having their way. Even when caught red-handed in crime, they show no remorse.
No matter where we turn we are met with another bit of gloom and doom. What happened?
What happened is rebellion. Rebellion by man against the character, person, and rule of God. And it happened a long time ago.
If we didn’t get the picture, perhaps it was because we were distracted by living in nation of peace and prosperity, an outlier on the graph of human history.
But this is not what most Christians have known throughout history. Nor it is a life known by many Christians in the world today.
The slide into depravity and debt is so severe that many of us are led to think it is the end of the world. Surely the Lord’s return must be imminent!
But try to convince Christians living in the Middle East, or in any of the other hell-holes on Earth, that things are suddenly different. That they should be up in arms over the recent decisions by the US Supreme Court. The Lord’s return is imminent and always has been. We don’t need signs. We have the Bible to tell us.
It’s those of us in America that are simply waking up to find out that the world is a fallen place. That we live under a curse. That our little planet is doomed to destruction, and will suffer a lot of that until the final culmination of God’s wrath.
Should we really be surprised? Did we not already know that he heart of man is wicked? And that, therefore, the institutions of man are inherently wicked?
So we cry out to God, and we should. For he is our Father. Because he is just and merciful. Because only he has the power to deal with the evil that we are just now so aware of.
Repent. Repent of making an idol out of government. Out of democracy. Out of a rectangle of cloth of red, white, and blue. Of seeking our security in the princes of this world.
Thank the Lord. Thank him for revealing to us the nature of our sin, and for continuing to reveal to us its pervasiveness. And for remedying our state by sending his Son to die on the Cross.
Are we weary of this world? Good! Thanks be to God. Are we disillusioned and disappointed in the institutions and ways of man? Praise God!
So hitch up your suspenders, Christian. You have lost nothing. You never had what you thought you did, but you have more than you were aware of. You have gained a fresh and new revelation of your Savior.
Open up the Bible and see that your allegiance is to a real Prince. His army is powerful and has never lost a war. Nor has it ever changed its mission or means.
Strike out that errant enemy in your “List of Enemies”. It was never “The Democrat Party”. Nor liberals. Nor homosexuals. Nor any particular ruler. Your enemy is Satan.
Erase that wrongful list of weapons. They never included politics, the GOP, talk shows, or para-church political movements. Your weapon is the Gospel, laid out clear, plain and potently in the Bible.
Dress yourself with encouragement and hope, for your Master’s might has a power present in no earthly weapon or on any drawing board of the Industrial-Defense Complex. It is his Holy Spirit, capable of moving invisibly and penetrating any armor. Even the hard-as-obsidian human heart. Once it defeated every defense you made against it. It penetrated your heart and replaced it with a heart turned towards God. And if it can pierce our own evil heart, what heart cannot it not so transform?
And for these times? Show the prudence and wisdom of men that realize that they live in a world constantly wrecked by storms.
Consider your circumstances. Fill the pantry and check to see that the storm shutters are strong and operational. Are you prepared for an earthquake, fire, or event that might disrupt the orderly lives we usually expect?
Live like men who know that good times never last. Don’t squander all of today’s wages on today. Or worse, borrow from tomorrow. Set aside some of todays abundant harvest for years of possible famine.
Concerned that those who rule may not be able to defend you as well as you thought? Clean and lubricate that gun that you have in the safe; take it out and practice shooting it. Attend self-defense classes that you might be a fit guardian of your loved ones.
Learn from your brothers and sisters who have long lived in unstable nations. Some have the opportunity to move to safer lands, and do, joining a body of the Church in their new location. Others develop the skills and resources needed to continue their lives in the same place, while also continuing to support the needs of their Church.
Finally, don’t forget to sing. Sing like Israel as it lived in Babylon. Sing of the day that the Lord will return and all will be made right. All the while they worked in their community, bought land and houses, married, and had children. Sing the song of true redemption loud enough that the spiritually needy can hear not only the words of Salvation, but marvel at the joy in your voice.