Trust in the Midst of Political Turmoil
By Julio Severo
The Apostle Paul lived through one of the bloodiest times of persecution of Christians under the Roman Empire, which killed Christians.
But instead of pointing to the darkness and wickedness of the politicians of his day and instead of worrying about the cruelty of the governments of his time, he encouraged Christians:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 ESV)
Many people might ask, “But how did Paul manage to have such a calm and confident attitude while the Roman emperor slaughtered Christians?”
Paul trusted in Jesus, who reigns in an eternal and indestructible government. This government is called the Kingdom of God, with unshakable laws and with spiritual “politics” that heal the soul and the body and destroy the works of the devil.
Paul understood that he was a citizen of that heavenly kingdom.
With such an understanding, he could ask for prayer for the cruel Roman emperor:
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV)
In cruelty and sadism, the Roman emperor was nothing different from the worst communist dictator or Islamic tyrant. Many today, looking only at the effects of human government, would pray only for the emperor to die soon.
Paul would have these feelings if he only looked down, not up. He was arrested by the Roman Empire and its authorities more than once. And in the end he was executed by the Roman Empire.
However, looking only at the powerful effects of the Kingdom of God, Paul prayed and asked Christians to pray that the bloody Roman emperor would be saved and attain a knowledge of the truth.
Nothing the Roman Empire or any other human government could do could undermine the Government of God and the salvation He gives to those who accept Jesus. Whoever is a citizen of the Kingdom of God is eternally secure in an unshakable Government, no matter how much human governments are shaken and shake their afflicted citizens.
When we look at human governments and their effects, we are discouraged and unwilling to feel joy. But when we look at the Kingdom of God, an eternally winning government, we rejoice, as Paul did.
Human governments always disappoint.
The Government of God never disappoints and always makes happy those who have their eyes fixed on Jesus.
Portuguese version of this article: Confiança em meio a turbulências políticas
Source: Last Days Watchman
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