Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Thursday Thoughts: In God We Trust?

on October 10, 2013

ImageOur nation’s health care situation scares me. It makes me wonder what kind of country I am going to grow old in. It makes me wonder what kind of country my children are going to grow up in.

I see and hear many similar sentiments from those around me–Christian or not. In fact, I see much anger toward our government from those around me–Christian or not. People keep saying that we need to go back to the way our nation once was, to a nation that boldly proclaimed, “In God we trust!”

But, sadly, I am not seeing that trust in God among many of the Christians around me who so vehemently demand it of our country.

I am not saying we should like the negative aspects of our government. We are privileged as American citizens to have a voice in our government–for now. And while we still have that voice, we can object strongly to what is wrong. But we should do so in a manner that magnifies our creed, “In God we trust!”

In a way, I am actually thankful for our current health care issues. Our family has been personally affected by it. And I don’t like it at all. But this trial has given me the opportunity to trust God in a way that I wasn’t able to before.

We have been privileged to have excellent healthcare for so long, but now we are starting to get a very tiny taste of what the rest of the world gets to experience. . .for the minority of the world that can even afford insurance at all, for those who even have available medical help.

People have asked me why I even want more kids, foreseeing what kind of a world they may grow up in. Well, it can’t be much different from what the majority of the world has grown up in. Children have been born into poverty and persecution through the ages.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not want my children to grow up in either poverty or persecution. But I do think that growing up in an atmosphere in which they don’t feel so “entitled” to their “rights” will give opportunity for their faith to be more real. I pray that my children will have real faith in God. I pray that they will have opportunity to boldly proclaim “In God we trust.” I pray that their faith will be tried and will come forth as gold.

I pray that the faith of true believers would be purified through these trials. We can oppose what is wrong within the means that we have graciously been given at this time, but we should always do it in such a way that everyone who sees our opposition should just as clearly–if not more so–see our trust in God. Any opposition should be done in a respectful way that points to the Supreme Ruler. Romans 13:1 makes this principle clear: 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.”

I found a commentary by Barnes helpful on this point:

The kingdoms of the world were then “pagan” kingdoms. The laws were made by pagans, and were adapted to the prevalence of paganism. Those kingdoms had been generally founded in conquest, and blood, and oppression. Many of the monarchs were blood-stained warriors; were unprincipled men; and were polluted in their private, and oppressive in their public character. Whether Christians were to acknowledge the laws of such kingdoms and of such men, was a serious question, and one which could not but occur very early. It would occur also very soon, in circumstances that would be very affecting and trying. Soon the hands of these magistrates were to be raised against Christians in the fiery scenes of persecution; and the duty and extent of submission to them became a matter of very serious inquiry. . . .

The apostle gives a “reason” why Christians should be subject; and that reason is that magistrates have received their appointment from God. As Christians, therefore, are to be subject to God, so they are to honor “God” by honoring the arrangement which he has instituted for the government of mankind.

Paul wrote to a people not governed by men with godly values. He wrote to people ruled by men like Nero. And so, he writes to us, “ruled” by men who can be godless as well. We show our trust in God when we subject ourselves to the authority God has instituted.

So, in a way, I am thankful for the leaders who disappoint me. They give me great opportunity to put my trust in God, not in a country, a man, or a system.

In God we trust.

{On Thursdays, I share some thoughts about what God is teaching me in my various roles as a Christian, a woman, a wife, a mother, and a pastor’s wife.}

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