I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about the country that my kids will grow up in.
They are living under a government that seems more concerned with expanding its own power than protecting the freedoms of its citizens.
And many of those citizens seem all too eager to hand their freedoms over, just so long as it doesn’t involve a press conference that interrupts American Idol.
The situation is grave now and it scares me to think about what it will look like in ten or twenty years.
As usual, my wife gave me a couple of shots of perspective.
One was from Jerry Bridges’ book Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts. Jerry writes, “we should take more seriously our responsibility to pray for the leaders of our government that they will make wise decisions. Although we may suspect that some of the more disastrous decisions are evidence of God’s judgement, we do not know that. We do know God has instructed us to pray for leaders. Our duty, then, is to pray for wise decisions, but to trust when foolish and harmful decisions are made.”
Our government has a bad history with foolish and harmful decisions. I’m reminded of it every day when I read the news and listen to the radio. But what my wife showed me when she shared that quote with me is that Jesus Christ is still supreme. Bad decisions and corrupt governments are nothing new to him. With every government abuse, Jesus is still holding all things together (Colossians 1:17). His sovereignty is not thwarted by bad government.
And then my wife pointed me to the words of Jesus himself.
“And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” Matthew 24:22
At first, that doesn’t seem too encouraging. But a closer look proves helpful. Jesus is saying, “Dark days are ahead. Really dark. But I have a covenant with my people and I will keep it. They will be protected.”
It seems so simple to write this. Almost like a bumper sticker or something on a church sign. But it is still true. And it’s what I need to hear every day. I can’t trust my government to protect my freedoms but I can trust my Savior to protect my soul. In him, my election is sure. There is an end to these dark days. A better one awaits. One with no tears, death or corruption (Revelation 21:4).
I’m not even 40-years-old yet but I already find myself thinking back to the good old days. Days when there was no corruption and we could all trust each other. But the good old days are a myth. They ended the moment when Adam and Eve disobeyed.
In her own way, my wife helped me to look in the right direction.
Instead of looking back, Christians should look ahead to a home where there is no corruption (Revelation 21:27).
This does not mean that we should keep our heads in the sand or misunderstand Romans 13 by turning a blind eye while our leaders disregard the laws of our nation.
It does mean that as we expose lies and fight for truth, we do so with the knowledge that this world, in its current state, is not our ultimate home.
So instead of worrying about the world that my kids will grow up in I’m trying a new approach.
I’m training them up and preparing them for the perfect world that they will one day inherit by grace and through faith in a righteous King – the Man Jesus Christ.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. Revelation 21:22 (ESV)