A Firm Foundation in Times of Upheaval

The recent events in our nation’s capital have been heartbreaking and disturbing. How are we to respond in the face of such social and political upheaval? What are we to make of atrocities incited in the name of Jesus? There are three things that come to mind.

1. In our concern and even anger, we do not despair! It is good to remember that God is working all things together for good in light of his eternal purposes (Romans 8:28). It is tempting for us to believe that the world is falling apart, and life is out of control when we witness events such as these. But in reality, God is not surprised. In heaven there are no questions—only answers. In fact, the Bible teaches that God is always taking tragic circumstances and weaving them into masterpieces. It is in difficult times that he does his best work! Remember that most spiritual awakenings in history have come on the heels of social or political turmoil. As Christians, we know that all bad things will eventually be turned to good; the truly good things can never be taken away and the best is yet to come!

2. As we strive to reach our country for Christ, we reject the concept of Christian nationalism as sinful and idolatrous. Loving one’s country is a good thing but making that country the center of life is a violation of the first commandment. Our sin is not so much that we do bad things, but that we turn good things into ultimate things. Only Jesus belongs at the center of our hearts. Anything else in his place will be destructive and disappointing. Life’s deepest problems are not solved politically. Politicians will fail us. Governments will fail us. People we respect will fail us. Leaders will fail us. Other Christians will fail us. Parents, teachers, pastors, people in authority will make foolish and disappointing choices. But all of these failings and disappointments serve to remind us that only Christ can satisfy the deepest
longings of the human heart.

3. Finally, these events remind us that we are only pilgrims here. Jesus gave us one really big mission as Kingdom people on this earth— go into all the world and make disciples of all nations! Jesus our King has called each of us to a unique citizenry. Like Abraham, we are all sojourners here. I am a proud citizen of the United States, but one day I will gladly set aside that citizenship when I stand in a new heaven and new earth and step into the eternal city whose builder and maker is God. That will be a glorious day! But in the meantime, we all have work to do as we each do our part to point people to the only true reality that will never disappoint.

For His Kingdom,

Rick Thompson

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