Adversity Motivates Us to Build…This Election May be the Best Thing For America

It is my nature that adversity or setback motivates me. I can’t count the good things in my life that have grown out of struggle and trial. And I think there’s something in all of us, or should be, that works that way. It is the indomitable human spirit. That supernatural urge that has driven humanity to do incredible things.

I am reflecting now on many of the same things I did after Obama won his first term. That circumstances have really worked in our favor IF we are ready for true restoration and salvaging of our freedom and the rebuilding of what made us a great nation.  I think we may be entering upon that trial of spirit that motivates us to do the impossible.

And just like Nehemiah rallied his people in their discouragement, I know, because we have record upon record, of God’s triumph through the remnant, that victories in history have always come through a determined minority, which we now are.

Families building walls. How does that translate to our opportunities, responsibilities? Thinking through what this election revealed about the majority of Americans, I think we have some practical counter-options:

  • Reclaim our children. If we want them to think like the government, we’ll let the government educate them. If we want them to think like a Christian, we’ll educate them with a Christian worldview. That simple.
  • Have children. There is power in numbers. Amen.
  • We’ll lay up treasures in Heaven. Scripture says that we cannot serve two masters–both God and money (i.e. the things of the world.) Are we living this out before our children? Are we treasuring things with eternal value? Our relationships? Things that will impact the Kingdom?
  • We’ll value our marriages and prioritize them above material or recreational pursuits. We’ll band together as one flesh and prove that a “three-chord strand is not easily broken”. Ecc. 4:12
  • We’ll teach our children that God is our Provider.
  • We’ll be ignited with a passion for sharing the gospel. Because truly, Jesus has the only answers for the problems that plague the hurting, broken and lost. They are looking, and we know where to find it.
  • We’ll teach our children that we work for things we want. I wonder how many voters in this election voted for the President that would do for them what their parents have always done for them? Loving your children isn’t buying them everything they want. It is teaching them how money really works.
  • We will resurrect orthopraxy. 1 John 2:6
  • We will care enough to search ourselves deeply, and be willing to do more than just talk about what’s wrong. We’ll start with ourselves, our homes, and our children. We’ll be willing to do some things we formerly thought radical. We will begin to build the wall.


23 Responses to “Adversity Motivates Us to Build…This Election May be the Best Thing For America”

  1. Amy says:

    All good thoughts It grieves my heart thay being passionate about the Gospel comes in at #6 of 9 on this list. Especially since it is the ultimate goal of God’s Kingdom and each of the other items on the list are only affective if the Gospel is proclaimed. I am sure tou would say perhaps that these were in no paticular order — but then that would seem even more sad. Good thoughts. Without the Gospel FIRST they are all mans efforts to do Gods work without Gods vision or Gods power.

    • Word Warrior says:

      No Amy, they’re not in order of “what to do first”. It goes without saying that the gospel in the hearts of people is first. The other items in the list assumes the gospel is already there–it’s a directive for Christian families.

  2. 6 arrows says:

    Oh, how I needed this post…it’s not my nature that adversity or setback motivates me; it often defeats me, and that shouldn’t be. :-(

    Lots to pray about here, and an important reminder to do some serious soul-searching, starting, as you say, with ourselves, and doing the will of the Lord in our homes and with our children.

    And time for me to really dig into that book of Nehemiah! Thanks, Kelly.

  3. Brittany says:

    I really enjoyed this post Kelly. Reading your posts and the comments is a great teacher of patience and understanding for me. I do not always have these when someone says something hurtful to me. You help me try harder to do those things. :) The best way to spread the word of Christianity is to live it and lead by example and you do that so very well.

    Although extremely disappointed and saddened by the election results I realized that we must move ahead and turn our attention to good things and you have some wonderful thoughts and suggestions. Ron Paul’s speech (I think it was a retirement speech) recently had so much sense in it as well. He pointed out that a nation who does not base it’s law on the laws of God will never be a great nation. So you are right, we must start at home, with our kids and then the children who have been raised in the Word and have not been brainwashed in public schools can begin to lead our nation back to the old paths and back to God as the head of us all.

  4. 6 arrows says:

    More thoughts today: ;-)

    The Chalcedon link was a good read. One part that stood out to me was this: “Our church and political leaders must provide a dramatic aggressive change of direction. We must engage the culture and build again all of the institutions of life on the foundation of an uncompromised Christian Biblical worldview.”

    I think that’s a good thing to ponder in light of all the talk of secession since the election. I haven’t formed an opinion and do not know much about the specific reasons people from various states have submitted or signed petitions to request secession, but I have to wonder if seceding from the union can engage the culture. Will it make it easier to, as the link in your post states, “build again all of the institutions of life on the foundation of an uncompromised Christian Biblical worldview”? Certainly secession is an example of a “dramatic aggressive change of direction”! But will it encourage us, as the Body of Christ, to engage the culture, or could it enable spiritual sloth if we live in a more comfortable environment with less adversity? Perhaps we’ve been too comfortable for too long.

    I don’t claim to have the answers, but those are some questions that come to mind when I consider engaging versus disengaging. Do we stay and fight, or do we disengage, extricating ourselves and our families from situations that could become too volatile and dangerous to the faith, and attempt to rebuild within a new culture with a distinctly Biblical worldview?

    Of course, the rebuilding must begin at home, as you’ve said, Kelly. But beyond that, the question is how and where are we to do the work God has called us to do in the larger culture? There are a lot of choices about environments in which we choose to engage; definitely, like everything else in life, it’s a matter requiring prayerful consideration.

    Just some random (and rambling) musings… :-)

    • Word Warrior says:

      6 arrows,

      Those are excellent thoughts and questions to ask. Someone smarter than I will have to answer them ;-) I suppose it’s a matter of deciding “is it salvageable” or is it ready to jump ship? I don’t feel ready to jump ship since I haven’t had my personal rights infringed upon just yet, but I wonder what it will look like as the tax burden grows heavier and heavier for the working class and we physically are forced to act. I don’t know….I wonder if the states that could secede (and I don’t think any will without a massacre of a civil war), if they proved themselves with sensible laws and conduct that worked, and the rest of the states faltered under the current system, if, in the near future, they decided they would rather join us again in the laws and freedom that makes sense. It’s very interesting studying the exodus of the Pilgrims to America right now.

      • 6 arrows says:

        Kelly,

        Thanks for your reply. I agree with you that most likely secession would involve bloodshed, another tragedy we don’t need, rather than a peaceful transition.

        You’re right, it’s interesting looking at the Pilgrims’ coming to America and to consider the motivation behind their exodus. I think it’s also good to look at examples like the history of Quebec’s sovereignty movement from the rest of Canada, though separation has not occurred. I don’t know a lot about that, although I remember a family I knew who moved to the U.S. from Quebec saying that it was hard getting used to then-President Bill Clinton because he was much more conservative than what they were used to in Canada (!) Yikes. I think Canada has become more conservative now, while we in the U.S. have grown more liberal. Double yikes!

        Anyway, sorry to go off on a tangent. But I appreciate your response.

      • Sue M. says:

        Hi Kelly and Happy Thanksgiving!

        You wrote:

        “I don’t feel ready to jump ship since I haven’t had my personal rights infringed upon just yet, but I wonder what it will look like as the tax burden grows heavier and heavier for the working class…”

        I’m wondering what makes you think that the tax burden will grow heavier and heavier on the working class. First of all, I thought that the first tax increases (or not letting tax cuts expire) will occur on individuals/families with very high incomes in the $200,000+ year range.

        Second, it’s obviously none of my business to see your family’s income tax return, but you’ve insinuated on this blog that your family lives on what would most people would consider a low income, especially for a family of your size. With all the exemptions you receive for your children and the Earned Income Tax Credit, frankly I’m surprised that you have to pay any federal income tax at all. (I certainly hope you don’t have to!)

        Third, it seems that income tax rates would have to increase a real lot before they would affect a family at your income level, like at least double or even worse. I may be way off in my estimate of your family’s income, but for 2011, our family income (just my husband and I; we’ve got a quite a few more “miles” on us than you and Aaron do and it’s just us at home) was probably over 2x yours. TurboTax calculated our effective federal income tax rate at 8.05%, so perhaps yours might even be lower. We had no deductions out of the usual ones and only a small education credit because I was attending community college in 2011.

        Fourth, maybe your state income tax rate might be higher than I’d guess. But because you live in a southern state, I’d expect it to be relatively low.

        Finally, I mean this in the kindest way possible. You and I tend to differ in our philosophy about government assistance. However, if your tax burden becomes especially onerous, I hope you and Aaron will seriously consider applying for food stamps if you qualify for them. Aaron has worked hard to support your family, you have worked to supplement your family income, and from what I understand you were employed as a teacher earlier in your life. If you feel like you don’t deserve food stamps for all of your and Aaron’s hard work over the years, you can consider taking it off Alex’s and my work records. We both have many years of full-time and part-time work under our belts, although I’ve out of the paid workforce for most of the past 3 years.

        Your sister in Christ,

        Sue (the insomniac after a Wednesday Thanksgiving)

        • Sue M. says:

          Kelly,

          If my response to you appeared too intrusive or to be butting into your family’s personal business (not necessarily your home-based business), I apologize. After getting some sleep, I realize it could have come across that way.

          Have a great Sunday with your family and worshiping with your church family,

          Sue

          • Word Warrior says:

            Sue,

            No, it wasn’t too personal. Mainly, I’ve been out of town/entertaining guests all week and haven’t had much time at all to devote to answering ;-) Secondly, you may be right; the working class likely won’t feel at least as much of the increased taxes, but I guess I am predicting that overall, our deficit is so atrocious, that we all can expect significant financial crisis, if not an utter breakdown of our entire economy before it’s all over.

            I appreciate your sincerity and where you are coming from with the “deserving” of what one pays into the system, but on a large scale, it’s crushing our economy, and we don’t feel like it’s right to take part in that burden if we don’t have to. Hard work is good for us ;-)

    • Sue M. says:

      Hi 6 arrows and Happy Thanksgiving!

      First of all, like probably 98%+ readers/posters of this blog, I’m concerned about our country’s lack of a moral compass. But the following two ideas seem more like stirring up necessary fear than is warranted:

      (1)Losing 1st and 2nd Amendment rights in President Obama’s second term.

      (2)The major provisions of our health care reform act that will occur in 2014 will inevitably lead us to socialism.

      Therefore, I can’t see secession as anything but a really bad idea.

      Secession is unthinkable for me, because I think the diversity of the different regions of the U.S. (Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, etc.) is one of our great strengths. Each region (and its individual states) contributes something to each of the others that they don’t have. These include things like different crops (for farm animals and people), prominent industries/companies/nonprofits, climates, cultures, cuisines, clusters of Christian denominations, world-class medical research institutes and colleges/universities, and even terrain.

      In my opinion, the our states stand together or they fall alone … unless a group of seceding states form their own country. And we know where that got us around 150 years ago.

      • 6 arrows says:

        Hi Sue,

        Thank you for the Thanksgiving wishes! Hope you had a good one, too…other than the insomnia ;-)

        Thanks for your input on the secession issue. Like I said, I hadn’t really formed an opinion about it, but if I sounded like I was leaning more pro-secession (which, in rereading my comment, my wording makes me sound more in favor of it than I think I really am), you might be glad to know that neither I nor any of my family have signed any such petitions yet, and don’t have any plans to ;-)

        You mentioned a couple issues about which you feel more fear is being stirred up than you believe is warranted (regarding 1st and 2nd Amendment rights and so-called “Obamacare”).

        Whether or not anyone is stirring up fear, it’s important for us as Christians to remember our duty to make decisions based on faith rather than fear. Also, I think being informed and wary about what our government is doing, no matter who is in office, is important to consider when analyzing prospective or already-implemented changes. Wariness, IMO, does not necessarily indicate fear (and I’m not saying you said that). I think it’s a natural part of being discerning, an important aspect of decision-making.

        If government is over-stepping its bounds, and there have been plenty of instances of that for decades now, not just with our current administration, then we need to proceed with a watchful eye, neither blindly assuming things will be fine (again, not that you’re doing that), nor engaging in knee-jerk reactions (which secession may or may not be, depending on whether it’s a hasty decision or a well-informed conviction, whether one’s motivation is fear-based or faith-based, and the like).

        Thanks again for the discussion, Sue. Hope your insomnia cleared up last night! I’ve been awake since 3:00 a.m. (not willingly!), so maybe we should just quit with that insomnia business already, huh? :-)

  5. Summer says:

    Thank you for your wisdom, Kelly. I’ll admit that I had to look up I John 2:6 and the word “orthopraxy”, but I’m glad I did. That’s what has been on my heart lately, so it’s nice to be able to put a name to it. We (the church in general) often behave so much like the world, are afraid to do anything “radical”, and talk a good talk, but don’t walk the walk. I don’t want to be like that. Neither do the families in our church, PTL. We must get serious, dare to be truly different, and walk as Jesus walked to really make a difference in our children and their children after them. That’s the only way we will ever see real change in our country, God willing. Thank you for your clear, godly voice and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family (in case I don’t write in again…)!

  6. Laura E. says:

    It is the Gospel that will turn the tide in our country. The Bible says that the preaching of the Gospel will “turn the hearts of the fathers to their children” (Malachi 4:6).

    The following is so clearly a work of the Spirit of God:

    From the Desk of Billy Graham

    All of us care a great deal about our country. The intensity of opinions and feelings during the long political campaign showed the depth of that concern.

    Now with the votes counted, it is important to remember that whether we are personally pleased with the outcome or not, God wants us to pray for those chosen to be our leaders—at the national, state, and local levels. The Bible urges us to do so with both respect and thanksgiving (see 1 Peter 2:17; 1 Timothy 2:1–3).

    We must also remember that no election will ever solve America’s most basic problems. That is because the trouble, at its root, is in the human heart, and the only path to true restoration—for a person or for a nation—is through repentance. The Bible says, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19–20, ESV).
    Only the Gospel, God’s Good News, has the power to change lives, heal hearts, and restore a nation.

    I want that to happen in America, and I know you want that as well. I turned 94 on the day after the election. Although my age and health have limited me physically in recent years, I plan to spend the next 12 months, if God permits, doing all that I am able to do in helping to carry out a fresh vision God has given us—a vision to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every possible place in America by the time of my 95th birthday. It’s called My Hope, and I pray that you will partner with us.

    In the days of the Prophet Jeremiah, God commanded His people to “seek the peace and prosperity” of the land where He had placed them and to “pray to the Lord for it” (Jeremiah 29:7, NIV). I ask you to join me in committing the next 52 weeks to faithful, even fervent, prayer for this land in which we live. You can start by making a list of people you know personally who need Jesus Christ and then begin praying regularly for them, individually by name.

    Pray also for your neighborhood and your city, asking God to bring men, women, teens, and children—people from your own community—to Himself during the next 12 months. And pray along with me for the nation, asking God for mercy on America and for a great spiritual awakening.

    My son Franklin is spearheading this vision and outreach, working in partnership with thousands of churches across every state in the country (ask your pastor if your church plans to take part). Franklin will be sending you more details on how this will work through the coming months and how you can participate.

    At the climax of My Hope one year from now, if God enables me, I want to call the entire nation to repentance and lasting hope in Jesus Christ. The message I give will be presented in a fresh format, different from preaching at a Crusade, but the same Gospel. I believe we will see God work in a mighty way.

    It is my passionate, heartfelt desire to see God change hearts and lives in every community in America, and I pray He will stir the same desire in you.
    Will you join Franklin and me in this bold venture?

    May God bless you,
    Billy Graham
    source: http://www.billygraham.org/articlepage.asp?articleid=9038

  7. Jennifer says:

    You know, I was thinking that too Kelly. Maybe God wanted to FORCE so many of the lame in this country to stand against Obama and what he represents.

    My own adversity is tearing me down to ashes. But when/if I heal completely (and I must, if God wants me in this life), I’ll never stop hounding Satan and that which tormented me.

  8. Heather says:

    Wonderful, encouraging post! I’m sharing!!

  9. Laura Smith says:

    Ive always had a heart to homeschool. Thanks to a move to a big city and the election results,my husband has given the go ahead! We start Monday. A prayer from veteran homschooler would be much appreciated for this mom of four. Ps Just pinned The Heart of Simplicity book to pinterest. Came here from the link in the book.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Laura I am so excited for you! Take a deep breath and relax. Don’t try to recreate the classroom at home and enjoy being with your children!

    • 6 arrows says:

      Hi Laura,

      Welcome to homeschooling! I’ve been a homeschool mom for 14 years now. I don’t know if that qualifies me as a veteran ;-) (I’m still very much in the trenches, with my youngest being 5 years old) but I would be happy to offer a prayer for you as you embark on this very fulfilling journey!

      Dear Heavenly Father,

      I thank and praise you for the unity of heart with which you have blessed Laura and her husband as they begin their homeschool journey. Give them wisdom, vision and direction as they consider how providing for their children’s educational needs fits into the larger context of their family life.

      Lord, I ask you to bless this family with strong relationships rooted in You. Please give the children teachable hearts, and clear away any hindrances to their willingly receiving instruction from their parents. Bring Laura’s family gently through the transitions they are experiencing as they adjust to homeschooling and living in a new locale.

      Bless Laura, her husband and their children with a joyful home atmosphere. Enhance the extra time they now have together with many new blessings as they grow and strengthen their relationships with each other and with you, Lord.

      Give the children and parents alike the joy of discovery: learning of the world You have created, and rejoicing in all its natural beauty. Bless them with curiosity that leads them to dig deeper for knowledge that helps them more fully understand more about Your gift of creation to us. Remove any obstacles that would rob them of the time or desire to fully explore your creation, and to learn about and worship You, their Creator.

      Finally, Lord, let each day be a celebration of your boundless mercy and grace as together they walk in Your will. Give them patience and perseverance through trials, and joy unspeakable every day in the journey.

      In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

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