"and the truth will set you free." John 8:32
Have we lost our way?
No, I don’t think it is that as much as our common struggle to maintain a healthy perspective in the face of more exposure to more tragic events. Naturally, it is harder when tragedy strikes closer to home… and hardest when tragedy strikes our home.
The only bona fide consolation available to us comes from God Himself, graciously worked into and through the hearts of His people: those who have believed in the finished Calvary work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Being truly consoled by God includes having our shredded perspective sewn back together…renovated… possibly becoming broader, clearer and stronger than before.
"And he made from one man every nation of mankind..." (Acts 17:26). We all come from one man. We live in a world of one humanity. We are part of a whole. We share so much in common.
Our perspective starts to fray around the edges when we expect from God things that He has not given to most of His people in any timeframe… including ours.
We pray for freedom. We want justice. We pray for the protection of freedoms that seem in jeopardy today. We pray that God keep the enemies at the gate. We seem worried about losing what most -including believers in Jesus Christ- have never had.
Has a subtle, creeping sense of entitlement distorted our Christianity… as if God had two sets of rules? Apparently, He is expected to bless “Christian” nations with freedom and absence of persecution. Somehow, God just would not take from us what He has never given to others?
We cling to our particular version of “divine blessing” so strongly that allowing God to strip everything away, except our faith and our testimony for Jesus, is never an option.
Being “in Christ” makes us free.
But using John 8:32 as a caption on an image of Old Glory is a distortion of truth. Christian freedom is possible for all Christians… including (and especially) Christians who have never known anything but a life of poverty, persecution, torture and imprisonment.
Christians are privileged people. We are granted certain freedoms… all of us… everywhere. No one on earth, not even the devil himself, can ever take them from us.
Let us cherish these freedoms. Let us exercise these freedoms.
The freedom to believe and witness has nothing to do with the government or political system. The freedom to believe and witness has nothing to do with the civil and political rights that might or might not be present. This is one of the most important lessons that we learned from believers in persecution: They (and you and I) are just as free to share Jesus today in Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Communist countries as you and I are in America. It isn’t a matter of political freedom. It is simply a matter of obedience. The price for obedience might be different in different places— but it is always possible to obey Christ’s call to make disciples. Every believer— in every place— is always free to make that choice.
Are we exercising our God-given freedoms?