So how are your feeling this morning? I never want to assume that everyone in our church voted for the same person, but chances are, that according to demographics and statistics, a large majority of us at Providence are disappointed in the election results from last night. Thomas Paine wrote these famous words to American soldiers whose enlistments were up at a crucial time in the war for Independence, “These are the times that try men’s souls…”. Poetic, but true.
There’s a lot of soul-searching that the church in America has to do this morning. There’s been talk for years about how America is becoming a post-Christian nation. I would say that after last night, what was “becoming” now is a reality. According to various ballot initiatives last night, gay marriage had some huge victories, as well as the use of marijuana coming legal in one State. You combine that with the re-election of a President who is not friendly to religious liberty, and it makes it a tough night for Evangelicals. I’m not trying to pile on, just trying to state reality.
So here are a few thoughts that I have this morning:
1. The true test of the genuineness of our faith is whether we have joy and hope this morning. Go read 1 Peter chapters 1 and 2. Peter writes this letter to Christians who are on the fringes of society. In fact he calls them sojourners, exiles, and pilgrims. Those are terms used to describe people who are living in a land that is not their home. Read how many times Peter talks about hope in the first chapter to these exiles. It’s powerful. As Americans, we’re experiencing the church being pushed to the fringes of culture right now. I don’t have the time to explain how we got there, but we are. Orthodox, Evangelical faith is not mainstream anymore. But what God reminds us in 1 Peter is that there is still a reason to rejoice and have hope, because we are really citizens of a different kingdom (one of which is eternal).
2. The church can still be a powerful force of change. I don’t know why God does what He does. I had a talk about God’s sovereignty just yesterday with someone, and at the end of it, we had to shrug our shoulders a little bit and say, it’s something that is really too big to fully comprehend. That’s okay. I don’t know why God has allowed another 4 years of this president. My only thought is that just maybe, God is purging His church of its last vestiges of putting hope in who sits in the Oval Office. I saw a ton of tweets yesterday saying, in essence, “God is on the throne. We can have peace tomorrow no matter who wins.” Sounds good, but this morning if you have no hope that God can change our nation, then your hope was in someone besides Jesus. In Chapter 2 of 1 Peter, Peter talks about our conduct being an incredible force that God uses to bring glory to Himself in a dark culture. May our hope to change the world and our nation be in the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ.
3. Pray. I prayed a lot last night. I prayed a lot this morning. I prayed for our president. I prayed for our country. I prayed for Denver. I prayed for our church. I prayed with urgency and desperation. If you read Nehemiah’s prayer in Nehemiah chapter 1, you’ll get a good chance to see how we need to pray and repent corporately. I believe that if every Christian prayed for every second that they worried about the future of our nation, our nation would be radically different. When prayer is the only thing you can do, that’s usually a good thing.
Okay, that’s all I have for now. I have hope this morning and I trust that you will too. Not necessarily in anything that can come out of Washington, but in the One who sits on the throne in Heaven.