We’re nearly halfway through the year 2020, and what a year it’s been! We’re still dealing with huge implications of a global pandemic that’s taken almost 120,000 American lives. Our economy is struggling to rebound. It’s a presidential election year. There are racially charged protests and riots across the country. Much of the nation is confused or angry. How do we respond? What are we trying to accomplish? Amid all the anger, frustration, and confusion our nation is facing, is there hope for America? I think the Bible tells us that, in some ways, there isn’t. And yet, in other ways, there most definitely is.
It’s important to check our expectations. If we expect America to be a holy nation where everyone goes to church, gets along, and never hurts anybody, we will be terribly disappointed. The curse on this earth is very real, and it’s groaning as it waits for Jesus to come and put an end to injustice and evil. God’s children, in a sense, don’t belong here. They’re only passing through as they wait for a better world—a new creation where all is right, where people live in unity, and where goodness reigns.
At the same time, God still has us here on this earth. And that’s for good reason. While still here on earth, God has good purposes for his children. He sends them out into the world to be beacons of hope as they point to Jesus and tell of his goodness. Believers in Jesus are supposed to be the brightest lights in the darkness and the greatest hope in times that seem so hopeless.
If you’re a believer in Jesus or are curious about what following him means, here are a few things for Christians to consider when looking for hope for their country:
- Examine your heart. Whether it’s politics, racial tensions, or any other social issue, be sure to check your heart before you speak. Out of human hearts come pretty awful things—your heart and mine. Before we speak or post on social media, we should first consider God’s will for us to see where we need correction and realignment to God’s better ways.
- Pray. When something is bothering you, try to talk to God about it twice as much as you talk to everyone else about it. God is the one with ultimate power and authority. He is the one who can bring change and healing for our country. And he loves to listen to his children’s prayers. His people’s prayers are powerful, and they can change the course of history.
- Make a difference where you can. When lamenting the course of current events, it can become easy to throw up your hands in defeat because you can’t change the world on your own. But God doesn’t expect you to change the world. He does tell you to make a difference wherever you are. Are there people hurting in your community? Are there needs of people around you that aren’t being met? Bring grace, justice, mercy, and light to the people closest to you.
- Share the hope found in Jesus. What our country and the world need more than anything else is Jesus. There’s no hope like the hope found in Jesus. Only Jesus rescues train wrecks, no strings attached. Only Jesus offers peace that supersedes all human understanding. Only Jesus opens the gates to a new creation where all is right and where we can live in perfect community forever. If you know Jesus, you know real, rock-solid, built-to-last hope. Share the hope of Jesus.
If you’re wondering whether there’s hope for America, there are a couple of things to realize. First, this world won’t be heaven, so don’t be disappointed when it’s not. Second, God works in the mess and through times of unrest by working through us. When God sends hope to America, it might just be because he’s sending you.