Perhaps 2020’s most commonly used phrase was, “These are uncertain times”. It seems, however, that 2021 is quickly removing the “un” as we see an ever-increasing polarization in our country. It’s troubling, of course, to see what’s happening in our government, and as inheritors of God’s eternal Word, it is the job of the Church to pray for and remind them of their Scriptural mandate (Romans 13:4, 6). However, it is also the job of the Church to not identify ourselves more as citizens of America than citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20).
As I’ve been following the news and speaking with many of you, it’s become clear that the news cycle is close to everyone’s mind. This past Sunday in catechism, while discussing providence, I wagered that each of their homes had been filled with talks of what’s been happening in the US. Suddenly, each looked up, eyes rolled, and every head nodded vigorously. There was great uncertainty last year, but it feels like now we can bank on one certainty: the heart of man will prove its wickedness, no matter its political ideology.
Given the increasing evil and immorality, one of the verses that has been of immense comfort to me is 1 Peter 1:7, wherein the Apostle describes our faith as “more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire”. What a contrast to the hopes of many in our world! Money is power in America, but in the talks of redistribution of wealth, capitalism versus socialism, equality of outcome, taxes, etc., you and I have the universe’s most precious gift: faith.
Faith in Christ – though it be tested by the fires of evil – is the assurance that this world is not our home (Hebrews 13:14), and that we are seen and loved by a God who “removes kings and sets up kings;” (Daniel 2:21), who stands age to age the same (Isaiah 40:28, Psalm 90:2, Hebrews 13:8, Revelation 22:13), who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalm 103:8) who never leaves and never forsakes (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5), who experientially knows our pain and suffering (Hebrews 4:15, 5:7-8), and who has redeemed us through the invaluable blood of Jesus (1 Peter 1:18-19).
My name is Bryan Lanting. I am a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary, and I am presently serving Mt View CRC as their pastor. I am married to a wonderful wife named Sydney, and both of us are loving life, loving Lynden, and loving the Lord!