In light of so many tragedies and division within our country in the last year, I see the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of people. People are hurting. I’ve heard people ask “Where is God in (put in whatever the current tragedy is)?” “What will our institutions and our government do to fix this?”. I’m going to answer the first question first: God is right here. He is faithful to do as He promised. “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’” (Ez. 12:28) We can have faith in our merciful, just, and Sovereign Lord to do what He promises to do.

The second question is just not the right question to ask. We are to have our faith in God alone, and not in man. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” (Ps 118:8) When we put our faith in men and man-made institutions, we are looking to a sin-stained world to fix the problems of a sin-stained world. That just doesn’t make any sense, does it?

We are seeing the fruits of a self-indulgent, prideful, idolatrous, murderous and angry people who celebrate sin. We want what we want, when we want it, and we damn all who oppose us. America is in trouble. From sea to shining sea we are witnessing the devolution of a nation. The United States is quickly becoming the divided states. Disunity and conflict abound. Family breakdown, the immigration crisis, the threat of terrorism, an abiding racial divide and political dysfunction all point to a deeper problem. We have turned our backs on our Lord God. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21)

In times like this, we loudly reiterate the charge to each citizen to RESPECT LIFE yet we sanction the disintegration of our families bonds, the murder of our unborn children and the excessive incarceration of our young men. Even now, the climate in this country is tense and toxic, with accusations and conspiracy reaching the highest levels of our government. Insults without contrition are spewed, creating ripples of animosity, vengeance, and strife among the populace. Instead of staunch fundamental yet respectful disagreement with the other side, we hate the other side and have no qualms about expressing it in the most descriptive and vile ways in written and spoken word. We are too proud to apologize and too angry too forgive. We lie and omit truth, cleverly selecting words and phrases to fit our narratives and support our agendas. We encourage a lifestyle of relativism, free expression, and a capricious standard of morality that is based on whims rather than wisdom. We condone and sometimes celebrate violence and abuse in various forms.” — Benjamin Watson

Instead of asking the second question, “What will our institutions and our government do to fix this?”, what we need to ask instead is “Where is God in MY Life? Is He first, or do I only call out to Him when it’s convenient or I need something?”. You see, I believe the problem is that we as a nation and as individuals have put the Lord in a box, to be taken out at our whim. “If He is God in crisis is He not also God in peace?! If He is worthy of our desperate cries in distress is He not worthy for us to seek Him and submit our lives to Him daily? ‪God is not a cosmic vending machine to be used at our disposal only when the problem or pain is greater than our ability to control it.”–Benjamin Watson We have collectively removed the Lord from the public square, from schools and other institutions, and then we have the audacity to ask where He is? By forcing Him out, we collectively suffer the consequences.

As I said in the first paragraph, God is faithful to do what He promises. We only need to look at the history of the nation of Israel to see that He is faithful to do as He says: “‘I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'” (Jer. 29:10b-13) The Lord does have plans for us, to use us for His glory, but we must turn back to Him. The “hope and a future” He has for us will only be given when we turn back to Him.

So what does the Lord promise if we don’t repent of our sin and our acceptance of sin? “…God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Rom 1:28b-32)

The Lord is faithful to His Word. If we no longer want to live in our sins and make other things our gods, we can return to Him, repent and seek Him with all of our hearts. He said: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron 7:14). If we do not rend our hearts to Him, we cannot expect God to change the direction. I encourage you to prayerfully ask the following questions of yourself, asking the Holy Spirit for His wisdom: “Where is God in MY Life? Is He first, or do I only call out to Him when it’s convenient or I need something?”.