When America finally meets its demise, if I am alive, I will not be afraid. Don’t misunderstand me that I wish this country’s end. Yet the day will come when God will strip America of all it’s pride and glory and show us all that his kingdom is not of this world.
I find it so strange that Christians are so adamant about bringing about human flourishing. We have forgotten that this life is not the one we are ultimately intended to flourish in. We have become so afraid of disaster, afraid of economical instability, afraid of failing to eradicate the ails and evils of this country and of this land. It is as if we have lost sight of the fact that it is this world that we need saving from.
We have forgotten that suffering is God’s appointed means of stripping man of his pride and love for this world and all that it supplies and forces him to yearn for his heavenly home. As painful as suffering was for the Apostle Paul, yet even in these he was content:
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10
Or in another place,
We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed;
as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
Paul did not invite suffering upon himself or others yet he did not flee from it. He prayed to be released from his sufferings and prayed for others to be healed, yet he understood the God-appointed means of suffering.
What is even more strange is the recalcitrance at suggesting the church is overstepping her bounds when she seeks to institutionalize human flourishing. The church is a haven for the broken, a hospital for the sick, and a treasury for the poor. No weight of gold could ever match the renewal that the church brings with her Good News. If the church were able to and was intended to uproot the powers of evil in this world, it would have centuries ago. With God on our side, the Kingdom of this world is no match, yet every attempt to revolutionize the world continually falls short.
The church forgoes her greater responsibility when she points people to find their satisfaction and hope in this transient life. We are called to proclaim to people that this life will end, often painfully, and nothing here can we take with us. Our hope and message is life hereafter with our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. One day we shall behold him and all the events of this life that brought tears to our eyes, including the toppling over of our great nation, he will forever wipe away.
And it is to this Christ we must look and steer our eyes. This world hates our Savior and will do everything in its power to distract you from his voice, even with good things. So long as this world draws your focus off of Christ then it has won the battle. Satan does not disguise himself with darkness but light, and the place we must fear most is not the prison with criminals but the land of good and plenty:
And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God— lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.