Not since the War Between the States has our nation been so polarized, so divided, and so hateful toward its own citizens.
Ideology and political power are all that seems to matter to our representatives in Washington. The health and future of America and its people mean nothing to them anymore. Politicians only value people for the votes that can be harvested from them. Minorities and the marginalized of America will never emerge from their misery, as long as it’s in the interest of politicians to keep them discontented. How else can they buy their votes with promises?
Indeed, our politicians’ strategy for gaining power in America (with loads of help from our media) is to divide and conquer its people. They fuel racial and gender hatred. They instigate class warfare. Politicians get Americans to claw each other’s throats. They blind us to the common ground we all share—namely, our common destiny through the success or failure of the very country we all call home. And this diabolical strategy seems to be working in favor of the politicians.
Perhaps I’ve never sounded this negative before. But I’m merely describing what most of us observe over the media.
What then, should we expect in the New Year—and beyond? Will America crumble only to the benefit of a bunch of power-hungry politicians? Will our civil and religious rights be suppressed? What can we expect this coming year? Will our nation continue to “progress” morally and spiritually—as cancer progresses, downward?
Well, for believers in Jesus Christ, we’d be far better off asking about God’s expectations of us. What does God expect from us in 2019? I assure you, that God has got definite ideas about the subject. He most certainly has a mission for every one of us.
For one thing, God expects His people to be fertile soil for the gospel (Matt. 13:3–23). He expects us to bear fruit from the word which He has planted in our hearts. This means we cannot allow the cares of this life and the desires for other things to frustrate or choke the gospel’s work in our hearts. Instead, Jesus told us, we must pursue God’s reign over our lives and maintain a right relationship with Him (Matt. 6:33). Christ expects us to be busy in His work until He returns (Luke 19:12–13ff.). If we do this, He promises to take care of all those things that worry us. So if we focus on what God expects from us in the New Year, He will take care of all our anxieties over what we expect in the New Year.
Second, God expects us to seek the peace and well-being of our nation—and to pray to the Lord on our it’s behalf. “Wait a minute,” you say. “My citizenship is in heaven. This world is not my home. In fact, this country’s immorality is a constant source of grief and temptation for me. As far as I’m concerned, America can go to hell in a handbasket.”
That is not a Christian or biblical attitude. In fact, it’s the attitude Satan wants you to have. He’d love for the most powerful nation on earth to be a habitation of demons and the champion of evil.
Remember what God told the exiles of Jerusalem who were taken captive to Babylon. Though they were forced to live in that idolatrous and immoral city, God told them to claim that city as their own, to seek its welfare, and to pray to God on its behalf. “For,” God told them, “in its peace, you will have peace” (Jer. 29:4–7).
It’s for the same reason the apostles Peter and Paul gave to believers for obeying and supporting the Roman Empire in the First Century (Rom. 13:1–7; 1 Pet. 2:13–17). The apostle Paul tells Christians that they should pray for all governmental leaders. By doing so, the believer will be able to lead a quiet life in all godliness and dignity (1 Tim. 2:1–2). Paul even seems to suggest that such prayers should also be for a spiritual awakening among the nation’s people—since God desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3–4).
Check back tomorrow for one more expectation.
Dear Father in heaven, please breathe into my heart afresh and renew in me an intense desire to serve You. Work in my heart, O God, the drive to serve You and power to do so effectively.
Please also bless our nation, the United States of America. Please pour out Your Spirit upon us, as You promised in the Bible. May Your Holy Spirit be the prevailing force in America, turning our hearts to Jesus Christ, You Son, and toward righteousness. Make us hungry and thirsty for righteousness and for the gospel of Jesus Christ. By Your Holy Spirit turn us to You in faith and repentance and to each other in love and reconciliation.