“The world is watching America.” How often did you hear that in the past month?
The eyes of the world have always been on America. We just didn’t realize it.
I sure didn’t—until vacationing in Canada in 1998. Half the evening news was about America. Back then, road rage was a new thing. Almost every Canadian I talked to said their they were afraid to travel in America because of that news.
Times change, topics change, but one thing remains the same: mass media’s ability to amplify problems.
Yet the world keeps watching America.
Why the world watches us
Despite three presidential impeachments since 1974 and other calamities that tested the foundations of our republic, people keep risking their lives to come to America—because it has always been, and continues to be, a beacon of freedom.
I have no idea how this election will affect our religious freedom. I only know that we can’t take it for granted. If only we could see it through the eyes of those who don’t have it.
- Like China.
Chip Ingram says, “Everything you’ve heard about China is true—but it’s much worse.” China is bent on expunging all religious sentiment from its country.
- Like Nigeria.
Technically a democracy since 1979, it’s one of the planet’s most corrupt countries. More than half of all Christians killed today are Nigerian Christians.
- Like Eritrea.
The totalitarian state has long been called Africa’s North Korea.
If we look at the state of our country (or any country, for that matter), we likely will despair. Chasms so deep, problems so wide. That’s why we need to look UP.
Our eyes are upon You
I don’t have pithy words to say about this. Only a prayer. Join with me in praying God’s Words back to Him:
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
“I lift up my eyes to You, the One enthroned in heaven. As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes are on the LORD our God until He shows us mercy.
“Our God … we are powerless before this vast army that comes against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.
“Brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may spread quickly and be held in honor, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men; for not everyone holds to the faith. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”
(Psalm 121:1-2, Psalm 121:1-2, 2 Chronicles 20:12, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 BSB)
Friends, I’m writing that as a reminder to me as much as to anyone else.
Around, inward, outward, or upward?
Too many people look around and stop at that. It’s so easy to cast blame when only looking around.
First, foremost, and forever, look up! We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Then we can look inward at the condition of our hearts, look outward at the world, and look around to ask God how He wants to use us—for “We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (Hebrews 10:39 BSB).
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But my eyes are fixed on You, O God the Lord. In You I seek refuge; do not leave my soul defenseless.
The LORD confides in those who fear Him, and reveals His covenant to them. My eyes are always on the LORD …