On this Fourth of July, I say, “God bless America!” But saying “God bless America” doesn’t mean, “God, give us prosperity and everything we want.” I’m asking God for good things, but those good things include His granting the people of this nation conviction of our sin, repentance, grace, faith, wisdom, justice and mercy in our treatment of each other, knowledge of the truth, trust in Him, and even suffering, if that suffering will bring about everything else on the list.
And may we continue to have the freedom to speak the full truth of what God has revealed. Although, history as shown that sometimes a lack of this freedom is used more powerfully by God to reveal Himself, so I place even that in God’s hands. May we Christians be ready for either.
As Christians, we can’t expect to be fully at home in any nation, but just as we have a special love for our own families above others, it’s not wrong to have a special love for our country and to desire its true good, for the ultimate purpose of God’s glory. God’s words to the Israelites in Babylon through Jeremiah were wise ones:
Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.
Whatever will move the people of this nation away from our sin and closer to God, that is the blessing I ask for.