A Greater Hope for Our Nation

Over the past few months, I have given an excessive amount of energy toward calming my fears about the state of our nation. I began to look to politics and the upcoming Presidential race as my source of hope. Maybe if the “right” person was elected, it will solve the problem. The weight of this misplaced hope became an anchor in my life—like I was swimming with something tied around my neck, carrying around a burden that I couldn’t pinpoint.

I’d find myself waking up each morning, scrolling through the trending topics to see who said what or checking my notifications to see who had replied to comments I’d left the night before.

But now, I know it has to stop.

This isn’t a condemnation on those who chooses to discuss politics, this is simply my perspective on why I have a greater hope for our nation.

A Fish Out of Water

I first recognized my problem when a desire arose to defend certain positions. Tied to that desire was an anger aimed at those who didn’t agree with me or believe the way I believed. I was convicted by these feelings as I recognized that my pride and my anger was rooted in my own fear.

I found myself worrying about the state of our country more than I was listening to God, and the time and energy spent in political conversations far outweighed the time spent in prayer.

Just the other night, I awoke from a strange dream that brought it all together.

I had a vision of a fish complaining about the weather. The fish was lying on the deck of a boat, having just been caught, complaining about the heat. As odd as the image seemed, it made perfect sense. Shouldn’t that fish’s primary concern be to get back in the water?

Then it hit me. The more I continued to argue about politics, I was becoming that fish. I’d been caught, flopping, complaining and worrying about things that weren’t my primary concern. My focus was completely misplaced.

In that moment, I was reminded of the continual cry of the Old Testament prophets: return to the Lord.

As a people, we have turned away from the Lord, placing our hope in culture or even our own strength to be our savior. We have left the water and are seeking to live on our own terms as we gasp for air.

The water of life is our relationship with God and community with the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we are members of God’s kingdom, not this earthy kingdom. Our mindset has to be eternal, not temporary. We must return.

The words of Amos echoed in my heart, “Seek me and live.”

Yet as much as I knew this and could even recite the scripture references, I wasn’t living that way.

Political Thorns

Politics have become a thorn that is choking out our growth. As long as we’re focused on politics, we will never bear fruit. Now for some, the Lord has called them to the political field to do His work in that arena. But for most of us, our position as it relates to politics is exercising our freedom to vote. That’s it.

And our vote shouldn’t be driven by popular opinion, it shouldn’t be coerced by the media, it shouldn’t stem from fear, and it shouldn’t be based in our own visceral emotions. Our vote should be influenced from our intimacy with God. Period.

Are you going to return to the water, or are you going to continue flopping around on the deck of the boat?

If the thorns of politics have left you feeling exhausted and frustrated, return to the Lord. He is your Provider and your Deliverer and His word promises that He establishes all authorities. I will rest securely in the safety of that harbor. He is my anchor and that anchor is light. It’s not burdensome, it’s liberating.

If Donald Trump is elected President, God is good. And if Hillary Clinton is elected, God is good. His kingdom cannot be shaken. And the beautiful promise is that, for His kingdom, He promises to repair the breaches, raise up the ruins, and rebuild that which has been torn down.

His name is Jehovah Jireh—The Lord Will Provide.

He is our refuge and our strength.

And you may say, “I know that”, but are you living that way?

MH

 

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  • Hey Matt I was just like this several years ago. I spent way too much time listening to the political talk shows. However, I found myself grumpy and in a foul mood all the time. I have also come to the realization that the Bible take precedence over the Constitution and patriotism and Christianity are not the same thing.Have no doubt I still love our great country and we should all exercise our vote whenever we can. I was grieved last week when a pastor friend of mine posted the video of the pastor at the RNC calling Democrats our enemy. The fact is I have fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with me politically. It would be a sin for me to see them as my enemy. Labeling people as our enemy closes of the potential for a relationship to share the gospel. (Sorry for rambling) – So go vote, get involved but never forget His ways are higher.

  • Will Irish

    Outstanding message Matt. It’s also a good reminder of how to view anything at all that chokes out our fruit and walking in the Spirit. Really encouraging perspective, and frankly, a much needed one. Thanks for sharing.

  • Matt, this was a great post. It reminded me why I chose to block major news sites as a way to avoid getting caught up in the political drama. Getting bogged down by politics prevents me from being my very best.

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