Soon, many months of uncertainty will be settled once and for all, and we will know who will be the new occupant of the Oval Office.
Whoever he is, we know he has survived a bruising and battering "primary season" — the emotional, psychological, and physical ramifications of which one can only imagine. And we also know he faces problems of vast proportions. The massive $700 billion bailout, or rescue, depending on your point of view, will presumably have to be paid for by someone, sometime, somehow.
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, however and whenever they come to a conclusion, will continue to drain the treasury. Social Security is still going broke, millions still have no health insurance, and the precarious, nail-biting global economy...well, does anyone know what to do about that?!!
Moreover, the hopes of half the population hang heavily round his neck while the other half watch through narrowed eyes offering everything from embittered opposition or sullen indifference to grudging support.
Throughout the endless months of the campaign, we have been promised either "change" or "reform" — the former coming from the Left, the latter from the Right. There's nothing new about this, of course.
In every election cycle, with monotonous regularity, general dissatisfaction with the status quo is amply documented. Insistent demands that something be done about it are voiced loudly and clearly, and resounding promises of progress and solutions are proffered. The road to the White House is paved with good intentions.
This general sense of societal dissatisfaction is, to my mind, symptomatic of a deeper malaise. The causes of which are purely individual and deeply spiritual. "Things are not the way they ought to be" is a regularly voiced sentiment. And it tells us two things — first, there's something wrong, and second, there is a way things ought to be!
The gap between the inner felt "ought to be" and the realistically recognizable "things as they are" is called in biblical terminology...the fall! The former brings despair and longing, the latter either frustration — nothing changes — or hope — there'll be a brighter day tomorrow!
But wherein realistically does this hope lie? For thousands who voted for him, it rests heavily and uneasily on the shoulders of the new man as he enters the White House!
If ever a man needed prayer, wisdom, counsel, moral rectitude, humility, and a deep spiritual awareness of his place in the grand scheme of things, it is he! He needs prayer — genuine, heartfelt, fervent, and effectual prayer — whoever he is!
But if the deep problems we face are the effects of the fall, and if the hope to which we are drawn is the counteraction of the fall — we call it redemption, it would be a dreadful mistake to pin our hopes on this man, his administration, or any political figure. We must not confuse the President with the Redeemer!
So we need two things:
• Prayer for a mere man who has taken on an unenviable task.
• A longing for revival...it's better than "change" or even "reform."
Revival is something the Holy Spirit does deep in the hearts of the masses of humanity. He does it through the people of God in the community of faith, and it promises eternal repercussions, as well as bringing immediate tangible, temporal blessings. And it happens in God's good time, when God's redeemed people take seriously God's revealed Word and follow wholeheartedly God's clarion call to distinctive, attractive, and definitive living.
So, welcome, Mr. President — whoever you are! We at Telling the Truth wish you well, and we promise to pray for you and commit ourselves to carefully delineating between you and the Redeemer! For you we will pray, and for Him we will proclaim!
In fact, we've seen a number of Presidents come and go since we started broadcasting. We've gone through cold and hot wars, market booms and busts. We've witnessed ethnic cleansings, people movements, tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes...and we've been enabled to stay on message throughout.
With God helping us and people like you supporting us, we intend to continue to do so whatever lies ahead of the President, the American people, and, in fact, the people of the watching world who are waiting for good news and hope that does not disappoint. We need your prayers and support.
Christians who seek to live lives worthy of their high calling are aware that they are involved in a struggle. They need to be clear about the unique nature of the struggle and the way in which God plans for them to stand firm against the enemy and to win the victory.All Sermons by Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe