Seeking the Prosperity of our Nation

The recent election experience provides all of us the opportunity to do some soul-searching. Those who were pleased with the results could be tempted to say,”It is as I had hoped it would be. All is well. Let us get back to business as usual.”

Those who were disappointed could be tempted to say, “Something went wrong; I do not understand why God allowed this to happen.” Some of these persons after further reflection may conclude, “I was wrong but He is right. I will accept that His plans are different from mine, and I will get back to business as usual.”

But what is “business as usual”? How shall we position ourselves in these difficult times?

I believe Jeremiah 29: 4-14 has a powerful word to all of us. “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you… pray to the Lord for it , because if it prospers, you too will prosper…. for I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future…. ”

Timothy Keller, author of King’s Cross, had this to say about how we should position ourselves:

God is saying: “I want you to seek the prosperity of Babylon. I want you to make it a great city to live in. I want you to serve your neighbors—even though their language is different and they don’t believe what you believe. And I don’t want you to do this merely out of a sense of duty.

“Pray for it” is another way of saying “love it.” Love that city, pray for it, seek to make it a prosperous, peaceful city, the greatest place to live. If Babylon prospers through your service to it, you prosper, too.

“For you,” God says, “the route to gaining influence is not by taking power. Influence gained through power and control doesn’t really change society; it doesn’t change hearts. I’m calling you to a totally different approach.

Be so sacrificially loving that the people around you, who don’t believe what you believe, will soon be unable to imagine the place without you. They’ll trust you because they see that you’re not only out for yourself, but out for them, too. When they voluntarily begin to look up to you because of the attractiveness of your service and love, you’ll have real influence. It will be an influence given to you by others, not taken by you from others.”

Who is the model for that way of gaining influence? It’s Jesus himself, of course. How did he respond to his enemies? He didn’t call down legions of angels to fight them. He died for their sins, and, as he was dying, he prayed for them. And if at the very heart of your worldview is a man dying for his enemies, then the way you’re going to win influence in society is through service rather than power and control.”

Keller, Timothy (2011-02-22). King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus (pp. 146-147). DUTTON ADULT. Kindle Edition.

So let us seek the prosperity of the city, the state, the country where we live. May the mayor say, may the governor say, may the president say, “Though these people differ from me in a number of their core beliefs, they are my most loyal citizens. I know they love me; I know they pray for me. I know they are not just out for their own comfort and well being. They care about their communities, their states, and their nation and are willing to sacrifice to empower others to prosper. Blessed be the name of the God whom they serve, who has placed His love and Spirit in them.”

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