Trusting God in Troubling Times
These are troubling times—the possibility of war looms on the horizon—and the recent passing of the Emergency Act, and Bill C-4 in Canada not long ago, remind us that the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world (John 18:36). A few moments of reflection reveal how much our nation deserves the judgement and condemnation of God, and the fact that God hasn’t yet removed us speaks to His long-suffering patience that will surely come to an end, if it hasn’t already.
Daniel would speak of God to King Nebuchadnezzar: He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; Daniel 2:21 (ESV).
And Paul would reflect this same truth to the Romans under the brutal regime of Empire: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Romans 13:1 (ESV)
- God has established our leaders in place and perhaps, in His providence, these leaders are themselves part of His judgment on our nation?
Psalm 75:6–8 (ESV) It is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.
As elders, we are well aware of current events. We must take care together, to not fear, to maintain our witness for Christ, and to lead holy lives. We can’t forget kindness, respect, and gentleness in manner and spirit in all our communications, our social media, and discussions (Phil. 4:5; 1 Peter 3:15; Gal. 5:22) and we would not want to be known more for political opinions than known for Christ—“but we endure anything that we not put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel of Christ” (1 Cor. 9:12).
Take care not to give in to the current trends filling hearts with toxic rage towards authority, the pride of having ‘secret’ or ‘special’ knowledge, and the arrogance of Christian Nationalism that seems to be rising, which never ends well.
We seek the “welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah 29:7 (ESV)
What an excellent time to guard your heart (Pr. 4:23) and give yourself to charity, to prayer and fasting, to His worship and acts of love; to be an example of godliness and restraint for our fellow citizens of Canada. Our temptation is to obsess over the news, to spend hours filling our minds and hearts with passions, one way or the other—while we could neglect ‘what is most needful” and the “better hope” who is Jesus.
Remember too, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
That is where our battle lies. Our true freedom is in Christ, and the only ‘right’ of any lasting value, is the “right to be called children of God” John 1:12.
Grace to you and peace from God,
Together with the Elders
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12–13 (ESV)