By Ricky Smith
I love our country. It is the greatest in the world. I vividly recall my first trip to Washington D.C. as a child and standing in awe of the monuments, the history, the grandeur, and the inspiring legacy. I spent time reading the quotes inscribed on stone which point to the faith that some of our founding fathers possessed.
Let me be clear. I love our country, but I don’t worship our country. Some do and should repent. America is not the redeeming grace for humanity. Democracy is not our Savior. Jesus is Lord, and only He can save, redeem, restore, and offer hope.
Some would look at our country and see the riots, the division, the ideological warfare and conclude we are too far gone. Some may say that we have gone to hell in a handbasket. Certainly, we are being reminded of our sin and are reaping the consequences of generational failures to submit to the authority of Christ.
Others, I pray all of us, will instead look back at our past. We stand on the shoulders of many who have fought and died for the freedom, the values, and the dignity that America represents. Looking back, we will see bad examples. Threads exist in our history that pain us and remind us of what we should not do.
Other examples exist of service, humility, dignity, and grace. Rather than focusing on the current crisis, we can look back and find motivation to keep fighting for unity and reconciliation. We can find a second wind when we dig into our roots. When we learn from the bad example and we look to the good examples to see the importance of a solid foundation. In fact, let’s dig into that a bit further.
In fact, the main purpose of this blog is not to reflect on our country; although I hope you do find encouragement and a reason to be engaged as a citizen. Instead, the relatable example can allow us to leap to an even more important concept. FAITH!
Faith is a word we toss around and use loosely. Non-christians will use the word to give motivation when times are hard. Believers understand that faith is not just simply something that you keep. It is possessed at one’s core and drives all we do. Hebrews 11:1-2 provides a working definition of faith.
Faith is both subjective and objective. It is a confession and our confidence. We confess faith in what we believe to be true. We have confidence with faith because we have proof or evidence that it works. Often this evidence is found in stories, or testimonies, of others. Their examples of endurance will motivate us to trust where God has us currently planted.
For example, we can see the power of God demonstrated in creation and thus be reminded that He is always present. If He has the power to provide water and food for the birds, surely He will provide for us. If He has power of the wind and the waves, then surely He can calm the storms in me.
The Bible is filled with stories of people who walked by faith, and not by sight. In fact, Hebrews 11 walks through several examples. Their stories are not fictional accounts that simply exist on flannel graphs or illustrations. They are real people that walked in real faith. These motivate us to trust. If God did it for them, He can do it for us!
Foundations matter. They matter for a country. They matter for a life. We must prayerfully submit to the authority of God and trust Him with our life and with our future. He is faithful. He has proven Himself capable.
Just like our country has not gone too far, you are never too far gone for God to restore you and redeem you. His love never fails and it never runs out! Trust Him by faith today!