Politics and Promises – An Encouragement from Hebrews 11

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JesusPilateIt takes a lot of faith to trust the political process in this country because it feels like the process and the people continue to fail to live up to what we expect of them. This is not a partisan thing. This is a reality that crosses party lines. Many people are disillusioned at the moment. If you dig beneath the disillusionment it boils down to culture rather than politics. People are disillusioned about a lot of things and that carries over into politics.

It is important that we keep these things in a godly perspective because the world can go mad but we don’t have to go along with it. Even with all of that there isn’t ever a reason to disconnect our experience, emotions and thinking from our Christian faith.

There are a lot of things people base their decision on when it comes down to who to vote for. Some people look at who might pick better Supreme court justices. Others vote based on who they think is the more trustworthy candidate or who just has more experience or better experience. Still others weigh campaign promises, evaluating which candidate has more to offer me. Those who wait to get what they were promised from politicians will be waiting a long time because politicians are fallible and don’t have absolute power to say something and make it happen. And yet the promises roll in from both sides.

As Christians, We don’t put our hope, faith or trust in the promises of a party or a candidate. The truth is, we have a better hope placed with God, who is actually faithful to every promises he has made. He isn’t looking for loopholes out of what he promised. He isn’t looking to blame the heavenly hosts for his lack of action or follow through. No one is filibustering the throne of God until God gives in. God is actually excited about doing what he has promised he would do to bless the world and has the power to pull it off. There is no balance of power when it comes to the Creator of the universe. God isn’t waiting on the house or the senate or the supreme court. God unequivocally, irrevocably and unilaterally acts on behalf of his children to make good on every promise he has ever made. All of this reminds us that we shouldn’t get too comfortable with the way things work in worldly systems,

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” – Hebrews 11:13-16

It is when we stop longing that we start belonging.

When we stop longing and start belonging we begin to check our faith at the door in order to “talk politics”. I see way too much of that. It hurts our witness and our credibility. There is tremendous inconsistency in saying we believe in eternal life, God, heaven, hell, Jesus as the savior of the world, etc and then dump all of that in order to speak in a manner inconsistent with our faith on matters that are trivial compared to our Christian faith and mission.

Keep longing because this isn’t it.

We depend on God not on any government or public servant or elected official. God is the only one who is 100% consistent. God is the only one who keeps all his promises. God will never let you down. So we wait and we acknowledge that we truly don’t belong to this world and yet still have to live and work in this world in a way that is consistent with the faith we profess.

Here is how Hebrews 11 ends,

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.


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