Once again, we watch our nation struggle as if it rocks on the edge of a precipice.
If all we watched were the sensationalized news/talk shows, men and women bent on creating a narrative based on their own ideological views rather than on what is factual, and we would think there was no hope, that all consideration of unity and peace is but a vapor, a dream that has died.
He is not wringing His hands over or bound by angry mobs, insidious plans, self-loving talking heads, rabble-rousing “inciters,” corrupt and conniving people in authority.
In little pockets all over the country, there is a quiet rumble of those who will not be manipulated into hate. Instead, they are reaching across imaginary lines drawn by the enemy of our souls who seeks to divide and conquer; to steal, kill, and destroy not just here on earth but for eternity. (John 10:10) And, in those pockets, the love and grace of God is being poured out; for we, His image bearers, are able to love and forgive because HE first loved us.
And it is what He commands His people to do – over and above what we, in our flesh, want to do at times. Even those who do not acknowledge Him bear His image because He is Creator; though they mar that image as they exalt themselves. The powers that desire division want to stamp out hope.
He is Hope!
He is Healer of the broken-hearted and sin scarred. Those living in shame and regret need not anymore.
He is Restorer of the breaches. He is able to repair what the enemy of our souls has broken down.
He is the Mighty One, able to save and redeem, but also Mighty to judge and bring true justice.
His judgment may just be to lead us to repentance rather than judgment so we must hear His voice and let Him devastate our self-rule and, in humility, say, “Speak Lord, I am listening…create in me a clean heart oh God, and renew a right spirit within me…search me and know me; see if there is any wicked way in me…(Psalm 51 and 139) and transform me God!”
Yes, let it begin with me!
An often heard and argued verse from God’s Word is just an echo of His grace: “If God’s people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray and turn from their (own) wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven…and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Is He bound to show us mercy? Of course not. His judgment may be for destruction. But, He commands His people who are called by His name, that’s me, that’s you – individual followers of Christ who so often look at the “bigger” sins of those around us with a shaking head yet coddle our own rebellion against God, justifying our own pet sins. He has promised that if we cherish sin in our hearts (be it an attitude or action), He will not hear us (Psalm 66:18). But, if we will humble ourselves and turn, He has promised to listen and, according to His glory and goodness, act. All we are responsible for is our own obedience to Him even as we show the way to others still setting their foundations on shifting sand.
We’ve been a nation divided before. Yes, there was a remnant of noble men and women, but there were also many who wanted to destroy; the spirit of lawlessness appeared to have taken over.
It was He who changed hearts and minds and brought reconciliation and healing where there was none and no one believed it would ever be so.
It was He who transformed souls by His grace and brought revival to a thirsty land.
It is in our arrogance that we would deem to exactly know the mind of God, to throw up our hands in resignation and say, “We might as well admit it – all is lost” when God says pray, repent, live before God and man righteously with His grace, His peace, and His love, speak truth in a way that draws men to Himself and restores lives!
What we do know is that He is merciful to us when we don’t deserve it so who are we to think He might not yet relent, soften hard hearts, take the scales from blind eyes, and redeem this rebellious generation! He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can think or ask.
And because He is…we can have HOPE, we can choose JOY!
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5