I want to share with you all from my time with God this morning. I read in Exodus where Moses lead the people out of Egypt, across the sea and struck the rock at Horeb so that the people could have water. Here were some of my thoughts:

In the wilderness, the Desert of Sin, the Israelites grumbled against Moses because they had grown thirsty. God appeased the people by causing water to come forth from a stone, but we can be confident that God had the Israelites’ best interest in mind and would have provided for them even if they hadn’t grumbled. In fact, He had been providing for them. Because of their thirst, though, the Israelites complained against Moses and God.

Americans are not so different. We have been blessed with more riches than Israel had been at this point in history, and still at the first sign of lacking, we complain first against our leaders and second against God. Americans lose their faith at the first sign of even the most mediocre hardship. This is evidence that faith may not exist in the lives of those who claim to lose it. Indeed, I am thankful that God did not forsake Israel when the faith of its people failed, because I know that God does not change. He has not yet forsaken America and I pray that He never does. If we remain God’s people, God will have our best interest in mind despite the strength of our faith.

Secondly, when things do not go the way we think they should, we seem to grumble against our pastors, school teachers, community leaders, coaches, congressmen and our president. Though there may be times when the role of our leaders should be examined critically, I’m not sure that complaining about what we disagree with is profitable for anyone because it encourages selfishness among everyone. What we perceive as negative circumstances are not grounds on which we should ever lose our faith or grumble against our leaders. Instead, our trust in God should be strengthened because He is the only one with power over our circumstances and we should encourage our leaders to champion and do what is right within certain circumstances. For, we live by faith and not by sight.

This was the end of my journaling this morning, but in light of it, I would like to address a claim that the president recently made. His claim was that all religion, even Christianity, has been used as a grounds for unjustified violence, and he is correct. But this downfall is not one that belongs to religion alone. Unjustified acts of violence have been committed by all sects of humankind and almost every array of ideals have been used to rationalize violent acts that should never have been committed. Let us not forget that it was not religion by which Rome conquered the world (even the parts of the world that did not threaten it), it was in the name of peace, freedom, trade and the glory of Rome. Unjustified violence belongs to all of humanity and stems from a human condition we call sin. We cannot rise above it without Jesus Christ, whether we choose to be religious or not. There is a great need for a messiah to raise humanity from the grave of unjustified violence that it dug for itself.

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