Is the current state of America scaring the pants off you?
I was scanning the scripture for tonight’s Praying the Scripture challenge and I had to write this quick commentary. I know I won’t do it justice, so please hear my heart.
Tonight at 9 pm EST, we are dropping to our collective knees to pray for America. If you are joining the praying scripture challenge, we’re reading Jeremiah 29-30 tonight and two chapters a night through Nov. 8.
I could spend a week in Jeremiah 29, but I want to ask you to think about this passage as we Christians are are facing the most despicable election I think America has ever seen.
We may have had worse candidates, but never before have we KNOWN all the facts and said, ah, heck with it, elect these criminals!
Americans are wringing our hands, wondering what to do, but in a completely unpopular position, I’m asking what if this disaster is part of God’s plan?
What if this disaster is part of God’s plan?
Really – this is going to be a bitter pill to swallow, but Jeremiah spent the ENTIRE book warning Israel that God was going to destroy them if they didn’t repent and turn from sin.
False prophets kept telling the people not to worry, God isn’t going to destroy us. He wouldn’t do that! He is a loving God.
And time and time again, God sent Jeremiah to tell the people, Yes, I love you enough to get your attention and correct you.
Israel didn’t listen. Judah didn’t listen. America isn’t listening.
Culturally, we’re using our feelings to decide what is true instead of the immutable truths of God’s word.Are we lost? We're using feelings to decide what's true instead of God's word. Seek His face. Click To Tweet
I know personally, the growth in my spiritual walk, the depth of my faith, has come in the times of suffering, not the times of ease or plenty.
Maybe God is calling America to grow in this disaster.
Jeremiah 29: 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Many quote this verse from Jeremiah, but few include the context.
4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper . . . 10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.
In verses 4-10, God promises He has a plan, but it includes 70 years of exile.God's plan might include disaster, but it also includes redemption if we repent and turn. Click To Tweet
Christians often cling to Jeremiah 29:11 as if it promises easy lives. But nothing could be farther from the truth, because God’s plan is measured in eternity, not just worldly blessings. His plan is to redeem as many of us as will turn to Him for eternity.
Even as destruction rained down on His chosen people, God promised He was with them in exile, and that He had planned all this for their redemption, not that they wouldn’t suffer.
Once, His people had been in captivity for 70 years, and were ready to repent and turn . . .
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
God planned the redemption even before the disaster struck, sent messengers begging the people to listen so the whole mess could be avoided. They stubbornly didn’t want to listen or change.
Neither do we. America is stubbornly clinging to our own understanding.
But God is sending people to warn us, just like Jeremiah, think Matt Walsh, Shane Idleman, Francis Chan.
If we don’t listen now, the disaster may be necessary to get our attention.
Thinking in parenting terms – “Honey, don’t stand on that chair.”
“I said, Don’t stand on that chair! You are going to fall and get hurt!”
I don’t want her to fall. I want her to stop standing on the chair. But I know what I’ll do when she falls.