Hope: Longing For A Better Country
Happy Birthday to arguably the greatest country in the history of the world! America has been far more blessed, far more powerful, and used by God for far more good in the world than any nation before her. Yet if the present trend continues America will soon pass from the world stage like so many other nations and empires in history. No matter the current state of our being, there is still hope. Alexis de Tocqueville said many years ago, “America is great because America is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. His prophecy and his wisdom are becoming ever more evident in these days; we will soon cease to be great, as we cease to be good. He also said, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress [and its President] discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. That day is upon us.
Being a citizen of America is one of the greatest God given blessings that has been bestowed on we who are Americans. And there is no doubt in my mind that America is great because of her greatest freedom, freedom of religion. She has been a religious nation for most of her history as the gospel has proliferated within her borders; and her greatest export beyond her shores has been the flood of missionaries and benevolent resources sent to the spiritually, physically and liberty impoverished peoples of the world. There is no need to list all the blessings given to the rest of the world with American resources, sacrificing hearts, and life blood. Those Americans with grateful hearts and observant eyes know it; those who do not or attempt to rewrite history are neither grateful for what they have been given or honest with the truth. These latter ingrates dominate the instruction in our schools and universities so that a whole generation is growing up without any appreciation of the truth. The trend is ominous and the future grim. Or is it?
The answer depends on your current perspective. If your hope is bound to an earthly home, and your promise of peace and rest is chained to the continuing greatness of a prosperous America, then for you the trend is ominous and the future is indeed grim. But for those with the faith of Abraham, the implosion of America from within will not deter their hope and longing for a better country: “For he (Abraham) was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Of great necessity the believer must keep his eyes on the promises of his road map, the Scripture, and upon the author and finisher of his salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In so doing the believer in America is still a citizen of the country whose birthday we just celebrated, though as Paul tells us, “our (true) citizenship is in heaven. (Philippians 3:20) As a citizen here we still have responsibilities to pray and to obey. The believer must vote for those people and those policies that most align with the instruction of God’s Word and commandments. I believe you will answer to God for your vote or your non-vote. This is neither a trivial matter or ungodly because it is earthly. We are in the world, but not aligned with the world. Citizenship in heaven never absolves us from our responsibility as a Christian citizen of the United States of America. America’s goodness has arisen from you and your fellow American believers living today on earth or waiting for you in heaven; believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit, leavening the country in which we live and they lived.
I have been reading Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer, a good book to read as America passes its 236th birthday. It impresses me with the character of the leaders America was blessed with at its beginning, like George Washington. As you read about him you once more are impressed that Washington’s character was formed out of his devotion to Jesus Christ and the knowledge of His Word. He applied it in his actions, policies and life, unlike most leaders at the forefront in America today.
Continue to pray earnestly for America, yet, with faith and hope, longing for a better country. “God has planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:40)
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