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The day after the election, many people sit heartbroken. Like the prophet Jeremiah, they weep for their country. We have seen a decline in morals and personal accountability. We have seen the increasing acceptability of abortion and gay marriage. Elected officials openly disparage the Christian worldview and attempt to shame or silence those who hold it. Militant atheism is bolder than ever.

We can think of times when God’s people have suffered greater hardship. When ancient Judah had been taken into captivity by the Babylonians, their captors tormented them by demanding they sing of their homeland (Ps. 137:1-4). Does our nation still face challenges? Of course. But we still live in a country where many people respect God and seek to do his will.

As citizens of this great nation, we have the opportunity to change it for the better. Yes, America has lost its luster. The Founding Fathers of our nation no doubt would be shocked at the worldview espoused by many who serve in public office. But we cannot allow ourselves to get bogged down in worldly concerns to the point that we become ineffectual. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus commands that his followers serve as salt and light to the world. Both must come into contact with something in their environment in order to be effective.

There is little doubt that our nation faces an uphill climb. This world will always present us with challenges (John 15:18-20), but we can never forget that obedience to God is our first priority. This includes being subject to the governing authorities (Rom. 13:1), honoring those in power (1 Pet. 2:17), and praying for them (1 Tim. 2:1-2). We also cannot forget that Peter and Paul were executed by the very powers they commanded believers to respect.

While America is our country, it isn’t our home. Great empires like Greece and Rome have fallen before, and there surely will come a time when America will join them. But we look for an eternal kingdom: “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Heb. 13:14).