The Optimistic Christian
Post-Election 2012: How Shall We then Live?
Elliott observes that God told the Jewish exiles not only to settle down and grow food and marry and multiply their numbers, but to seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which they were exiled—for if the city prospered, the Jews would too (Jer. 29:5-8).
Are conservative Americans in exile in our land? I'm not sure this simile fully applies, but perhaps it does point to an attitude of the heart we should cultivate. I believe first of all that God is, in fact, bigger than the U.S. tax code. He will bless whom He will bless. God sends people economic and financial opportunities all the time; if He sends them to His people in a time of punitive, discouraging taxation and regulation, will He not guard and keep the outcome? Suppose—just suppose—that He can prosper any of us who will ask Him, no matter how anti-prosperity the political environment is. God cannot be taxed. Will He not restore to His people whatever is taken away from them?
America's unique character derives from the early settlers who had been oppressed and effectively exiled by their own people for their religious beliefs. They fled to the "New World" to get away from the oppressive organization of the old. As hard as they worked and as much as they endured, these Christians attributed the food on their tables, and every new penny added to their prosperity, to the providence of God.
Today's Americans have little option to flee anywhere, but perhaps we can think in a different way—one less narrow and self-referential—about what God can and will do for us if we stand pat. Perhaps, in the coming years, we will have "only" His protection covering our hearts, families, and livelihoods. We will have "only" Him to turn to for prosperity, grace, and a good name before the world.
Today, as never before, the world is watching. What happens in America will be known everywhere. Imagine that the politics of envy and resentment don't defeat us. Imagine that God's people get everything we ask for in terms of freedom, fulfilling work, blessings for our families, and the ability to bless others, especially those who are poor and in need. Imagine that an outpouring of truth, grace, and love melts the hearts of those who put all their faith in politics and the trappings of state power. Imagine that every man and woman who obeys God in this nation stands firm—unbowed, blessed, and giving blessings—through whatever storms are headed our way. Imagine that the light of America doesn't go out, but burns only brighter before the nations.
Imagine, in other words, victory, and not the mere avoidance of defeat. Imagine this victory being brought about for everyone who will accept it—but not by the managerial exertions of government. Can you imagine this outcome? I can. Our God can do anything. Imagine how He would be glorified by such an outcome before a watching world. He will not share His glory with the Republicans or the Democrats. But He does work through our hearts. We can get them turned the right direction and send our petitions to Him. Now is the time.
J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval intelligence officer and evangelical Christian. She retired in 2004 and blogs from the Inland Empire of southern California. She writes for Commentary's CONTENTIONS blog, Hot Air's Green Room, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.