“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.”Ezra 1:1-2
It seems at every election there is a bit of contention as each side wants one candidate over the other. There are verbal fights and some escalate to physical altercations. Families are sometimes split due to the political lines that are drawn in the sand. The hopes and dreams of some rest on who will occupy the White House for the next four years, and you will see one side cheer with glee while the other side frowns in grave disappointment. I have gotten sucked into this drama a time or two, and I am known to read a political book now and again. I love to listen to political podcasts, but I know I must temper what I listen to and not get my hopes and dreams anchored to that which is temporal. Although the political pendulum has swung quite drastically these last two years, God is still on the throne.
In times of hopelessness, we must remember there is nothing that gets past the eyes and hands of God. He is sovereign and has a plan for all things, and He is in all things. He is not surprised or shocked by the current situation, and there is no such thing as “breaking news” to Him. He lives outside of time and is the God of the past, present and future. He has seen all the presidents and kings throughout time, and He sets up and puts down leaders as He chooses. There is nothing too big for Him to handle and no situation too small for Him to care. His sovereign will cannot be changed no matter who sits in the White House or who sits on the throne in other countries. God holds the heart of man, and He holds the heart of the king.
We are living in a time of high inflation, record-high gas prices, and unreasonable housing costs. The grocery bill has gotten a lot higher, and eating out is quickly headed back to being a luxury. I have been guilty of looking around at these circumstances and feeling like I have no hope. I may not admit that out loud, but I grumble inside about the circumstances we are currently in. I easily forget all that God has done in my life and how He has always provided and met all my needs and even a lot of my wants. My hope cannot be tied to the political climate or financial stability or I will be defeated and hopeless. My hope must come from God who never changes.
God had foretold in Isaiah and Jeremiah that His temple would be rebuilt, but things did not seem to be lining up that way. The children of Israel were enslaved, and I am sure they were not so confident that their return would take place. But God had a plan and He was in full control. He stirred the heart of King Cyrus and the king even recognized that God had given Him all the kingdoms around him. He was instrumental in bringing back all the silver and gold that was taken from the temple, and that treasure was returned just as it was prophesied. We sometimes live like there is no hope, but God is the One who is able to stir the heart of even the most powerful king.
Do we pray as though God can change our nation? How about the change that is needed in the world? A lost world will always succumb to their sin nature, but we are to be the light to a world in darkness. Do you blend into this world or do you stand out for your faith? Do you truly believe God controls the heart of our leaders? Do you believe He is able to change things in our nation? The defeat of Roe v. Wade came because people prayed for years, and God heard their cry. What do you want to see changed for God’s honor and glory? Are you willing to take the time to ask Him? God help us to trust in Him, and may we be quick to pray for our nation and slow to complain as though we have no hope.