Many American Christians are struggling with feelings of fear, confusion, abandonment, and disgust at the state of affairs and government in the United States at the start of 2021. We have certainly seen some troubling situations appear, and the news keeps looking darker and darker every day.
So what does God want us to think about all of this? We know that none of this has taken God by surprise, and He already has an answer for us. Let’s look at His Word and find out what He has to say.
Gentle Reminders for the Church
1. Our faith rests in our God, not in our government.
The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever He wishes. Proverbs 21:1 (NASB)
The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he chased after the sons of Israel as the sons of Israel were going out boldly. Exodus 14:8 (NASB)
God is well able to direct the leadership of our country to make the right decisions for us because of His love for us, and we need to ask Him to do it. He is also watching over us to protect us, defend us, and lead us into His perfect plans for us and for our country. Our part, then, is to pray for them so we will lead peaceful, quiet lives and so the Gospel will be proclaimed unhindered.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
2. No one can take us out of God’s Hand, which is where our supply comes from.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:27-29 (NASB)
The devil may try to limit our influence and opportunity to share the Gospel with the world, but he can only fail. God is for us, and if God is for us who can be against us? Pour out your requests to your Father in Heaven and He will never cast you away. You are already seated with Him in Christ, far above all the earthly powers that try to hinder you and keep you from His purpose for your life. No matter who leaders our country, or what the government does, God will always provide. Believe it and walk in the powerful peace that this truth provides for you!
3. Our rest and peace are from the Presence of God in our lives, not from the current state of our country and our world.
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NASB)
We shouldn’t be really surprised at the momentary light affliction we encounter as we walk through this life. Jesus told us it was going to happen, but He also encouraged us not to worry about it. He has it all handled even before we come to it. These things just make God’s victory in our lives look even more impressive and give Him even more glory! Hallelujah!
4. Our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical resources come from the living waters flowing out of our hearts by the Holy Spirit, not the broken cisterns of other thirsty people or the governments they establish.
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive. John 7:37-39 (NASB)
When we try and find our peace and wisdom in other people, instead of His Presence and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are trading the fullness of God for the emptiness of man.
For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
That can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13 (NASB)
As human beings, our natural tendency is to rely on what we can see, feel, hear, or touch instead of the unseen eternal things God has given to us in Jesus Christ. We see bad reports on the news and fear for the future of our government, seeing all of our earthly needs and wonder how they will all be met. We give in to fear and anxiety and seek to find security in our jobs, our spouses, and other sources.
But relying on these temporal, unstable things will only lead us to emptiness. We are all like thirsty children trying to take water from each other, when we really need living water to quench the thirsts in our souls. Only God’s wells can satisfy, and when come to Him with our emptiness, He fills us up to overflowing so we can share this source with the other thirsty children we see around us. Then, we share the “well-th” we have found in Christ so others can rejoice in His abundance of life too!
5. This world is not our home, but we have a home waiting for us in Heaven with God.
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3 NASB
A wise Twitter comment on the current state of events by Patricia Heaton states, “If you’re a common-sense person, you probably don’t feel you have a home in this world right now. If you’re a Christian, you know you were never meant to.” — (@PatriciaHeaton) January 8, 2021
She reminds us that the final analysis is that this isn’t our home and it’s not really surprising that we feel like aliens and foreigners on occasion. But we will always feel the love and acceptance of “home” with Jesus, Who will never leave us nor forsake us.
Jesus told us in Matthew 28:20,
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
So even though we may sometimes feel disenfranchised, discouraged, discarded, despondent, or even depressed about the government and current affairs of our country or our world, we aren’t forsaken, forgotten, or forlorn. He is with us and if He is with us, we have everything we need.
When Asaph struggled with very similar situations in his life, he cried out to God in Psalm 73. He saw wickedness prosper all around him and struggled to believe in God’s justice. He became bitter and considered joining in the evil and betrayal of God’s people. He finally came to his senses as he spent time the God’s Presence in the temple sanctuary. He perceived the true status of evil and good in the world and was able to trust God again. His final analysis is that the Presence of God is all we really desire in life and that our strength is in Him and Him alone. He shares that those who are far from Him will perish suddenly like a bad dream when one wakes up, but the nearness of God is for our benefit.
It helps us to remember that life on this earth is the worst we will ever have to endure, but the best that those who reject Him will ever receive. Our hell is their heaven. When we realize this, it should move us to actively pray for their souls and their precarious future; they are teetering on an eternity devoid of the Presence of God that makes all of this present darkness bearable for us.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26