So much has happened in our nation since the inauguration of President Trump. At times I have felt that I can’t keep up. Our new president is making some big changes and following through with many of the promises he made during his campaign. Although it is refreshing to see things being done, I find it a little scary and sometimes confusing.
One of the issues that is flooding our televisions, social media feeds and conversations is refugee immigration. Over the past few days, I have listened to the arguments for and against. Angry people, happy people, sad people. Although I do agree with the President’s stand, I see merit on both sides. We are dealing with real lives here; human beings, children. It’s hard for our hearts not to go out to the innocents that are caught up in the mess. It is easy to become swayed by the strong emotions, that issues of this nature generate. It is also difficult to sort through media coverage and discern truth from lies. We can get so bogged down by news reports, blog posts and social media opinion that we fail to address these issues as we should.
So what am I, we, to do? Sit back and carry on with the day to day? Lobby our government officials? March on Washington? Amidst all of the chaos I am reminded once again to turn to the Word. What does God say? As Christians this is the first question we should be asking before jumping on any of the bandwagons available to us. God’s word has answers for every situation we deal with in life- if we are willing to find them.
The first thing I read is that we are to honor those in authority over us. Whether you like it or not, that means our President. Romans 13:1-5 speaks very clearly on this issue. Honor does not mean to always agree, but it is an understanding on our part that the leaders we have are placed in their positions by God. His plan might not be obvious, but it is perfect. If we say we trust Him, then we need to obey what He has required of us. God has the ability to move the hearts of kings, we have to trust His plan.
Secondly, suffering is part of living in a fallen world. The harsh and ugly reality is that the poverty, persecution and suffering we see throughout our nation and our world, is as a direct result of sin and the rejection of God by the people He created. We can not, nor will we ever end the atrocities happening in our day. The heart of man is wicked and sin abounds. Matthew 24:9-14 tells us that Christians will be persecuted; that we would be hated by all nations. As our leaders start taking a stand against the evil that threatens our country, people will rise up against us. Even believers will turn away from their faith, because their hearts are stirred more by a cause, than the truth of God’s word.
Thirdly, as Christians, it is our responsibility to take care of those in society who are hurting, lost, destitute, without hope. Whether they be Americans, foreigners or refugees. Our job as the church, is not to try and change the politicians that make decisions for our nation; rather we are to pray and preach the gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV). To every people and every nation. We have a mission field right on our doorstep. I have to ask, are we wasting that opportunity by arguing and being negative and divisive? The truth is, souls are at stake. Do we feel the true weight of that?
It doesn’t stop there; “for what are words if they are not accompanied by actions? They are merely a noise similar to loud and clanging cymbals.” (1Corinthians 13:1, NIV). We are to exhibit our faith through actions and our love. Scripture clearly warns us not to turn away from the needy. “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses” (Proverbs 28:27 NIV). We are promised a great reward for taking care of the have-not’s and the vulnerable “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” (Proverbs 19:17, NIV)
My prayer is that the body of Christ would rise up. Not in protest or to voice it’s social opinion, but to extend hands that God can use to build His kingdom. I pray that we would be able to properly separate our emotions from truth; be the hands and feet of Jesus, and leave the rest to Him.