A highly contentious health care reform bill was just passed by the US House of Representatives that many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, opposed. Whether you support the bill or not, such legislation has exposed something that plagues the heart of all Americans alike: fear.
Russell D. Moore asks, “Is it a problem that some of us who are tranquil as still water about biblical doctrine and ecclesial mission are red-faced about Nancy Pelosi and the talking heads on MSNBC? Is it a problem that some who haven’t shared the gospel with their neighbors in months or years are motivated to vent to strangers on the street about how scary national health care will be?”
Where do our priorities lie? Where does our confidence lie?
I am not saying that as Christians we should dismiss the struggles in the world that surround us, and I am certainly not saying that we are not entitled to express our opinions and get involved in political discussion. I am, however, questioning the manner in which we do so. More specifically, I question the root of our fear.
We are called to place our hope in Christ and his promises, not in legislation. We have been cultivated in a culture of complaint, but do not forget that even in the midst of clamor and distress, the sovereign source of our hope and our faith is constant and unchanging.
Moore continues, “If we were half as outraged by our own sin and self-deception as we are by the follies of our political opponents, what would be the result?”
Let us be reminded of our propensity for anger. Furthermore, as we face trials, I think it is time we start considering our dilemmas in perspective. The reaction we offer when confronted with bad news is perhaps most telling about our own beliefs. God did not promise us a trial-free life on earth; we are a fallen creation. Life will be difficult. Be it death, divorce, miscarriage—we must choose to trust in His sovereignty. Even when the world seems to be crashing down, one thing will always remain: God’s love for us. Hold on to his love; cling to it in the face of adversity because sometimes, that is all you will have.
Perhaps Moore’s most piercing question is this: “If we rejoiced as much that our names are written in heaven as we do about such trivialities as basketball brackets, what would be the result?”
I can’t imagine the immense joy that flooded the hearts of the Northern Iowa players, the little #9 seed, when they took down the #1 seed of the entire tournament, the Kansas Jayhawks. But shouldn’t I be able to? A Cinderella team’s joy indeed—but shouldn’t my own joy exceed theirs? Through Christ’s sacrifice of love, do we not, being saved of the horrendous and eternal fate in hell that we all deserve, have the greatest Cinderella story of all time? Against all odds, we have been presented with ultimate hope through a redemptive sacrifice that was born out of love.
I am humbled by my own failure to constantly rejoice in His love.
“You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy…Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy…I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:20,22,33).
We are not hell-bound: that should be enough to muster up some joy.