It’s no secret that it’s becoming harder and harder to hold to traditional biblical beliefs and values in our culture. There are so many political and legal things going on right now that point to this fact. I’ve seen a range of reactions from Christians about this. There are those that seem pretty indifferent to all of it and have more of the ‘it’s no big deal’ attitude. Then, more prevalently, there are those who are angry and anxious about it and seem to have lost all hope. Both reactions are problematic.
First, we should definitely care what’s going on in our country in regards to this. Perhaps things do not appear so grim right now, but, make no mistake, these issues are a trajectory of where things are leading. We shouldn’t be flippant about it. We need to be aware that things are only going to get worse.
However, we shouldn’t be worried and full of despair, either. First of all, God is sovereign. Even if these things were out of the blue or sudden, he is in control and is not at all taken by surprise. Let’s stop acting like God is somehow losing his grip on his creation. He’s not. The truth of the matter is that we really shouldn’t be surprised by these things at all. I think we have become so comfortable with our freedom that we have forgotten we are not of this world. Scripture is very clear that Christians who stand for the truth of Christ will not be tolerated by the world and, in fact, will be hated because of it (Matt 10:22). Peter goes as far as to say we should never be surprised by our trials, but instead we should actually rejoice in them (1 Peter 4:12,13). Look at the early church in Acts. They were beaten (some killed) for the sake of the gospel, yet never despaired. Even after they were beaten for preaching the gospel, they not only rejoiced in it, but went back out and continued doing it (Acts 5:40-42)! (No, I am not saying what we are going through now can be compared to what they were going through then. I’m saying they had it MUCH worse than we did and still never lost hope.) In the rest of Acts we can even see a direct correlation between persecution and the furthering of the gospel. God, in his complete sovereignty, uses the world’s hate as a means to display his glory and further his kingdom.
Therefore, it is absolutely ridiculous for us to be overcome with anxiety or fear over the current state of our country. We should care, for sure. But, worrying is completely counter to how we should be reacting to it. Instead, we need to calm down and breathe. We need to pray for our country. We need to pray for strength. But, above all, we need to pray that the Lord will move and work in whatever way he will in order to bring himself the most glory.
I know this comes as a complete shock to some, but life is not about us. It’s about God’s glory. We need to quit worrying so much about self-preservation and, instead, be focused on how we can further the kingdom. It’s really not the end of the world. But, even if it is, don’t forget who’s in control of it. (Hint: not us.) God is completely sovereign over all things. Our duty, as believers, is to trust him and be prepared to live out his truth in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.
‘Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.’ I Peter 4:19