I am blessed to live in the United States of America. However, along with the many great things about our country it also has many problems. If we don’t turn to God for solutions I believe they will continue to worsen. Some of our problems stem from our independence. Independence goes back to our beginning as a nation. Pilgrims sailed here seeking religious freedom. We fought in the American Revolution to separate ourselves from British tyranny. In our Declaration of Independence we advocate the God given rights of every individual for equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We established a capitalistic economy driven by the needs and wishes of consumers. We emphasize individual hard work and celebrate and promote people who achieve. Inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs in agriculture, industry, mechanization, production, computerization, and information technology have helped us prosper. Through socialist programs we even support entitled people who don’t contribute. My point is that American society is very individualistic from the cars we drive, the healthcare we desire, the specialized products we expect, the lawsuits we pursue, the postmodernism we accept, and the rights and privileges we claim. The danger of this is a person can become self-focused, rejecting any need for God, and seeking fulfillment in pleasure, comfort, security, and power from one’s performance or from government instead. When disaster strikes like a pandemic, economic depression, military conflict, social unrest, governmental abuse, unemployment, loss, or pain and suffering, people have no where to turn for healthy, sustainable solutions.
Jesus solved this. He is God the Son who became a man and brought to people the fullness of God’s holy character and perfect way so anyone who trusts and obeys him can experience it. Even when your world crumbles around you, you can not only survive, but thrive by centering your life on God instead of yourself. Jesus shared what its like to live in God’s kingdom where he benevolently provides, as opposed to living apart from God in this world, which can never satisfy your needs. The key is not to exalt yourself, but to humbly depend on God (Matthew 23:12).
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:3-12).
The Bible also teaches, those who try to save their lives will lose it, but those who lose it for God will be saved (Matthew 10:39). God’s strength is made manifest in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5-6). It is on your knees in prayer that you can stand (Ephesians 6:10-18). It is by faith that you can walk and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Some of these teachings are paradoxes or seem impossible to obtain. That’s true. You can’t and live God’s way on your own. That’s why Jesus came. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). You must recognize your need for Jesus and ask him to forgive your selfishness, to save you from your terminal individualism, to heal your brokenness, and to give you the power to live rightly in love for him and others. He is ready and willing to transform you to become all that he designed for you.
Don’t try to just survive on your own. That lifestyle is so limited and will eventually end in death. Instead enjoy an abundant, thriving life now and forever by trusting and obeying Jesus. Seek first the kingdom of God and he will provide for your needs (Matthew 6:33). Bring your concerns, your preferences, and your goals to God and leave them with him, trusting he has the wisest plan, the almighty power, and the deepest love to do what is best for you (Luke 22:39-43; Psalm 37:3-7; Proverbs 3:5-6, 16:3). As individuals do this, and as families, and as churches, and as schools, and as communities that’s how we open the doors for God to solve our problems as a nation and to use it as a blessing for its citizens and those around the world. May his will be done in you and on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-13).