Many years ago when Mr. Marvelous and I were newly-weds, an elder in our church decided to run for Congress. I became involved in his campaign. He lost the primary. I was devastated. Then I realized something. I had begun to put my hope for our country's future in this man. A little more intensive self-examination revealed something even uglier; I was putting my hope for our country in the "right" politicians being elected to office. If we put the "right" men and women in office on the local, state, and national level, then the country would (in my warped thinking) return to its Christian roots and all would be well. God would be pleased with how well we did things, and because of our good, hard work, would be compelled to pour out His blessing ~ as I chose to define blessing ~ on our city, county, state, and country.
Yes, my thinking really was that warped.
Over this past weekend as I was preparing for our Ladies' Bible Study in the Lord's Prayer, I read these words that my father wrote many years ago
"This prayer is a great affirmation of faith. 'For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.' What a daring thing it is to say these words. Only the eye of faith can see it in our troubled world. Only the voice of faith can proclaim it. By these words we declare that we believe God. We trust His word. When the Apostle Paul was speaking to the men on the sinking ship which was bearing him as a prisoner to Rome, he encouraged them with these words, 'Sirs, be of good cheer, for I believe God....' If there was ever a time when this same testimony needs bearing it is right now. You need to have this witness in your own life. People are so fearful and anxious. The world is in so much trouble and despair. Where are the voices of the believers saying, 'Sirs, be of good cheer, for I believe God'?"
It is easy to be overcome with fearfulness about the state of our cities/states/country. We are given privileges and responsibilities as citizens. We prepare for those things with prayer. When they are done, we bathe the final decisions in prayer. Then we remind ourselves that God really is still in control. Our hope is not in men, in political offices, in putting the "right" man in the "right" office. Our hope is in God.
Over the next week, please keep the following matters in prayer:
- The Smith family
- Gail, Sheila, and John are all dealing with health struggles. Please pray for grace in these times of difficulty. Pray that we would all reflect Christ clearly in our times of struggle.
- Pray for Sarah, who meets with doctors this morning to plan her treatment.
- Sandra is getting ready for 12 weeks of rigorous chemotherapy. Please pray for physical and spiritual health during this time.
- Please remember to pray for the marriages in our neighborhoods and especially in our church families. Pray that husbands and wives would be unified, and that marriages among believers would reflect God very clearly to the world.
- Pray for your pastors. Pray for your pastors. Pray for your pastors. And pray for their families.
- Pray for our leaders; the ones in our homes, the ones in our work, the ones in our cities, our states, and our country.
- Pray that God will be honored and glorified in each others' lives.
As you reflect on where your hope is this week, may your heart sing this song.
Be of good cheer!
Be of good cheer!
His peace to your hearts and homes.