As Inauguration Day has come and gone and the country has a new president, there are plenty, especially in the conservative Christian realm, who wonder what happens now. Where do we go from here? What is going to change, and how quickly will it happen? In the midst of all the uncertainty, it can become a little overwhelming, and before we know it, fear and frustration can begin to lead us down paths unfit for followers of Jesus. To fight against the fear of change, I believe there are three things we can remember that do not change in the days ahead that will help us.
Remember Our God
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6, ESV). God does not change. He has not changed, and he will not change. I honestly wrestled with whether or not this should be first or last because of its importance. But the fact of the matter is that if we do not hope and believe in this truth, the next two will be near impossible to remember. As many Christians are trying to make sense of the situation, one of the most helpful understandings to put things into proper perspective is God’s immutability.
The answer to the fourth question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism states that God is “unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” This means that current events do not change who God is. The world has not suddenly confused God in his wisdom (Isaiah 55:8-9). The rising powers (as well as past powers) and the sinful platform that follows does not somehow overwhelm or overthrow our God (Psalm 2) as Malachi’s words brought comfort to the Israelites. Hence, they comfort us as we remember that we are not consumed in all of this.
Remember Our Purpose
Because God remains, this means that the purpose of God’s church remains. As our nation changes and completes its transition into a post-modern and even post-Christian society, the pressure is on the Church to stay the course and remain faithful to the purpose of God. There is a good chance that the church is in for some turbulence in the coming months and years. And if not careful, the call to give in and change and to “get with the times” will lure God’s people away from the commission given to the people of God. The frustrations of the day seek to draw the church off course into dangerous waters where we might run aground, stranded and stuck, fighting for temporal things.
What is our purpose? Simple: Proclaim Jesus and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). What has the Lord required of us? That we would do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God? What is the Lord’s command? Love Him and the people he created, all of them (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Matthew 22:37-39). All of these things can be done faithfully regardless of this nation’s direction or any other nation of this world; past, present, or future. To remember this purpose helps us keep on the mission. We must keep this main thing as the main thing, and it is imperative how we live for this mission.
Remember Our Testimony
This one will not be easy. The important things never are. But in a time when the world seems to be watching and waiting to see how we will respond, our testimony and witness to the world seems to have one of the greatest opportunities to help or hinder the purposes of God. Jesus told his disciples that when they shine their light before others, others will see their good deeds and glorify God (Matthew 5:16). This begs the understanding that if our deeds of light will point them towards God, then our deeds of sin will point them away.
So, are we living our lives as God has commanded us to live so that it would point the world towards glorifying God? The best way to know is to ask yourself or even someone close to you these question regarding your life:
Do I show love for God by tangibly loving my neighbor?
Is there anyone I would not want to have to consider as my neighbor because of their ideas, opinions, or lifestyle?
Do I seek to pray for those whom God has commanded in scripture (my brothers and sisters in Christ, my enemy, my government authorities, etc.)?
(James 5:16; Matthew 5:43-45; 1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Do I honor authorities that have been placed over me through my words and deeds?
(Romans 13:17; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:17)
Do I care about people hearing my testimony and the gospel of Jesus more than them hearing my political views or opinions?
(1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
Does the life I live and the words I communicate point to a life of trust and peace in God or to a life of worry and fear because of circumstances?
(1 Peter 3:14-15)
Is there anything that I do, say, or post on social media that takes the focus off of our purpose of building the kingdom of God?
These are only a few examples of all that God has called us to do and live, so others will see and know the God who created them, who loves them with an everlasting love, and who is calling them to repent and return to him.
We Press On
As the old saying goes, “I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.” Remembering who God is and what he has called us to do is the only thing that will sustain us in the days ahead. Am I excited and hopeful for the coming administration? I am not. Do I believe that it is going to get worse for us who believe in biblical Christianity? I do. Do I believe that God is still good and in charge? Without a doubt, I do, and I believe that as the days grow darker, the light we shine will have an opportunity to shine brighter and brighter… as long as we remember that nothing truly changes for us.