In a world and a country that seem to be spinning rapidly out of control, we need to focus on what brings stability. Leaders appear less and less concerned with the welfare of their citizens and more and more concerned with what will bring them power. Wars continue in multiple regions as they have been for years and even decades. Volcanoes erupt, tsunamis wash away whole towns, refugees flee from one country to another and back again, and loved ones who tie us to our history pass away. So where in all this do we turn for stability? Where do we find security that transcends not just generations or centuries or the lifespan of nations, but thousands of years of human history and all of the eons that make up the history of the universe? A number of folks will try to tell you today that there are multiple different sources and places to find this stability. Anything from forms of government, to meditation to self-awareness, self-care, or self-anything are purported to provide stability and inner peace … but they are temporary at best. The only source that brings stability and safety to either an individual or a nation, is God.
So for the individual, how does God bring this stability? What does he offer and what does he require? And as mentioned a few days ago here, why do we need to draw closer to him as Americans? As far as stability goes, God brings it to each of us because he simply does not change. His word is the same today as it was in the year 1945 or 1245. Now, different people do try to make His word mean different things, some for bad purposes and some because they are truly trying to better understand Him. Translation can add another monkey wrench in, but for the most part these are small matters and fleeting. His word overall is still the same as it was near the end of the Roman Empire, regardless of who is in charge, what our financial situation is, or where we are living. In addition to this God offers the greatest gift in all the universe, eternal life. He offers this because he loves us. The only requirement for this unbelievable gift is faith in His Son Jesus Christ, that he died on the cross for our sins, and that he was raised from the dead. For as God’s word says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’”
Drawing near to Jesus is most important for us as individuals, but drawing near to him as a nation is not far behind. First of all, America was founded upon the principles of Christianity, and thereby works only when her people adhere to those values and ethics. A recent response to one of the last articles here was that “America was not founded on Christianity. Exactly the opposite.” Ignoring the insinuation here that America was therefore founded on Satanism, and focusing on what I think was the intent of the comment, that no Christian values or ethics were intended to be part of this country, I could not disagree more vigorously. You do not have to look long or hard to find examples of this in the writings of our founders. John Adams, our second president prayed that, “that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Foundation of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessings upon this nation.” George Washington noted that “…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in the exclusion of religious principle.” The list goes on … and on. The point being a country, much like a machine, works best when it is being run in the manner for which it was designed. America was designed by men who believed in God the Father of Jesus Christ, not in any ambiguous being. These men designed the country to function for a people who believed the same, and America will not work to being equality of justice, freedom and liberty regardless of race or gender, and all the other blessings that come from her laws otherwise.
So as this New Year develops, continue to draw near to Jesus. Individually your eternal life depends upon that relationship. As a nation our blessings and success, the support of our allies, and the vanquishing of our foes, depends on our national relationship with God and his Son, Jesus. As President Adams noted, “righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” If you have not thought about or developed a relationship with Jesus yet, I urge you too; there is no greater decision to be made in all your life. And if you have not thought about the importance of our relationship to him as a nation, I urge you too there as well. Many storm clouds seem to be gathering on the horizon for America, folks, but as we have weathered many storms before when our citizens put their faith and trust in God and Jesus Christ, so we can again, if only we will.
-JT Cope IV