This morning concern for my country, my economic prospects, the future welfare of my children and grandchildren, and my eroding religious liberties propelled me from my bed in the pitch-black predawn. Anxiety gnawed at my stomach. Hopeless permeated my considerations. As I watched the sun rise, I considered these facts:
“Unless Congress acts, the spending cuts and tax increases that would be triggered automatically next January would take 5.1% out of the country’s GDP in one year…larger than Greece, Spain, Italy or the UK has tried…Virtually every economist who has studied this believes that similar measures, even if enacted for a few months, could put the U.S. into a double-dip recession…Once again, the rest of the world watches to see if the U.S.—the center of the global economy—will actually commit economic hara-kiri.” (well-regarded economist Fareed Zakaria, November 12, 2012, Time Magazine, pg. 28).
Will we? Will America plunge over the cliff? In spite of this divisive, angry, name-calling political season, will we come together and will our lawmakers make the types of decisions that will set us back on course? Or will the wounds inflicted prevent us from moving forward? Congress and the President have not been able to work together to fix this mess for the last four years. Can they work together now?
This is where followers of Christ come in.
We’re supposed to be the people who forgive and forgive again. Jesus forgave us, so we must forgive others. It’s a mandate, repeated over and over. We’re also supposed to be the people who pray for our governing authorities. Candidate Romney, in his gracious concession speech, urged us to do just that. Pray for the president and Congress. If they don’t change course, our way of life is in peril.
1 Timothy 2:1-6 states: “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.”
These are the important facts:
- Our comfortable way of life is hardly the greatest consideration in God’s eyes. His greatest concern is our character, our very souls, and our eternal destiny. He wants everyone to hear the gospel. He loves people of every race, creed, and political persuasion. This is why Jesus gave his life to purchase freedom for all kinds of people.
- We don’t need to fear whatever is coming over the horizon, even if we lose it all. God will take care of us. If suffering comes, we have a God who has promised never to abandon us, one who loves us no matter what trial or difficulty comes against us, one who uses these trials to transform us into pure and godly people.
Here’s God’s advice: When trials come, when we suffer through economic difficulty or political and social upheaval, we “should commit ourselves to our faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19b). These are our marching orders.
Do we believe what we say we believe? If so, we must do it.
So let’s hit our knees, entrust ourselves into God’s hands, then get out there and do good. Forgive political opponents. Love the opposition unconditionally. Trust that God loves us, will never forsake us, and will work all things together for our good, merely because we love him and he loves us. Be kind. Serve others. Pray for our nation. Pray for our reelected President. Thank God for him and the other leaders he has set over our country. Pray for the members of Congress. Tell people the gospel.
This is where our faith is shown to be true or not. Do we believe what we profess?