I’m frustrated right now. I’m upset.
I’ve watched our leaders run rough-shod over democracy, lie openly and blatantly about their actions and words, put themselves above the law, and ignore all rules of courtesy and even morality; and then watched the people of America accept it. I am persuaded that the Land of the Free, our glorious Republic, is coming apart. The United States of America is dying.
But, despite what you might think, this isn’t a political post.
I am not going to name names, point fingers at either party, make thinly-veiled allusions to candidates’ shortcomings, nor advocate for different policies. This is not a call for more Christians in public offices. This is not a call for ordinary citizens to be more informed and involved. Nor is this post even a call for a national revival, for a return to the Constitution and to God. (Although that would be lovely)
Because ultimately, America is not my home.
I don’t belong here. I’m just passing through. I am a stranger, a pilgrim, and America isn’t my final destination. I desire a better country, that is, an heavenly country. (Heb 11:16) What happens in this convention, in this election, and in this nation, has little effect on me as a Christian. This is just one short motel stop before I get to the mansion He has prepared for me.
Now, before we go further, let me clarify something. As Americans, we have been given a very precious and very rare blessing of having a say in our leadership. And in having this blessing, we have also a responsibility. Whatsoever ye do, do to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31), and that includes being a good citizen. I believe Christians should vote. I believe Christians should legislate. I believe Christians should run for office. As American citizens, we are burdened with the task of defending our country, whether physically on the ground or verbally in the law and court rooms. But, though I am an American citizen, I am first an heavenly citizen.
So anger, frustration, joy, or fear over the nation’s future should have little effect on me. Because America isn’t going to last forever. It’s simply not. Other great nations have risen and fallen; history is littered with them. Yet the world spins ever on. And perhaps America does last until the end of history, yet even then Jesus’s return will dissolve all nations, as all the earth and even the elements shall melt with fervent heat. (1 Peter 1:10)
But no matter what, God is still on His throne.
Maybe we can’t keep our Republic. Maybe fear and hate tears our nation apart. Maybe the global economy crashes, maybe terrorist attack, maybe World War 3 starts. But none of that fazes God. His Spirit will still abide with us (Joh 14:16-18), His kingdom will still ruleth over all (Ps 103:19), He will still be the Lord of lords, and the King of kings (Rev 17:14), and He still will have overcome. (Joh 16:33)
And perhaps it will even be good for us. For even if our freedoms are stripped away and persecution comes, the trial of your faith, much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory. (1 Pet 1:7) The blessings of freedom of religion and peace, as wonderful as they are, can encourage apathy and shallowness. But persecution tolerates no mediocrity, no lukewarmness. In the middle of hardship, the faithfulness of the Christian is a persistent testimony to the truth and power of the Gospel.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Rm 8:18) Ultimately, all these problems, all these elections, and all these upheavals will be nothing more than a tiny, invisible, forgotten blip on the endless time-line of eternity. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. -C.S. Lewis What will we remember in eternity? Will it be who won an election, or who won souls? Will it be the discussions of politics, or the cultivation of patience? Will it be the time spent worrying about this life, or the time spent preparing for the next?
When we gaze through the lenses of eternity, we can see much clearer.
So go, fulfil your proper civic duty. After all, “with great power comes great responsibility.” But don’t let this short stay in this life control you. Never forget that you are just passing through. So let the peace of God rule in your heart, let your light shine before all men, and know that He is still in control.
Because even if America falls, God is still on His throne.
So when the walls come falling down on me
And when I’m lost in the current of a raging sea
I have this blessed assurance holding me.
All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong
-Building 429, Where I Belong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he32vwlKQPY