(Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on where things stand following the 2012 election cycle. Part two will focus on where we stand spiritually. Part one is about where we stand politically.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament gives a very difficult but encouraging truth: “The LORD chastens those whom He loves.”
No one wants to be chastened. It is not fun to be disciplined. Yet when God allows such accountability and suffering to take place, this truth teaches us it is because He loves us enough to correct us when we are wrong, lest we continue doing what can ruin us and those whom we love. It is when God no longer holds His people accountable for their actions that we should really be concerned. Consider a parent that is so frustrated with his own child’s disobedience he stops disciplining him because it’s pointless. That is the scariest place for any child to be because he has essentially been abandoned.
I have heard from so many Christians that believe God is judging us by allowing Barack Obama to rule over us for another four years, as if Obama is a modern-day Nebuchadnezzar and we are an oppressed people. Granted, Obama represents almost everything I don’t believe to be true and righteous, but he’s hardly a tyrant. Tyrants don’t sweat out the outcomes of free and (relatively) fair elections. When we attribute such language to liberal Democrats we cheapen the true persecution under tyrants so many of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world suffer from.
It is our natural human impulse to believe that if God does not give us what we want then He is punishing us. Almost never do we believe God can reward us by not giving us what we want, because we assume we are basically good therefore so is what we want. Yet only God is good, which is why Christ himself prayed “not my will but your will be done.” Sometimes we forget that it’s never about God being on our side, it’s always about whether or not we are on His.
The Bible is quite clear that God does not see things as we see things, and His perspective is not our perspective. Sometimes what we think is good God sees as evil. Sometimes what we intend for evil God uses for good. There is no better evidence of that then the fundamental event of the Christian faith itself: Jesus lives the sinless life we could not live, dies the atoning death we could not die, and then just when all hope for humanity seems lost the tomb is empty.
It is very dangerous for us to assume we know God’s will outside of the specific descriptions of it in His Word, because we tend to see things through the filter of our contemporary culture as well as our desires—both of which deceive us quite often.
Do you know anybody who’s heart was broken by somebody they loved, but later they found joy in marriage with someone else that seemed like they were the one meant for them all along? Do you know anybody who ever had an unplanned pregnancy and that child ended up being the greatest blessing of their lives? Did you ever not get the job you thought you had to have, only to get an even better one out of the blue later?
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