Biblical hope increases our commitment to seek societal transformation driven by biblical truth. As a prophetic witness to the future of Israel, God told Jeremiah to buy a field in Israel despite the impending Babylonian invasion (Jeremiah 32:6-15). Though the fullness of God’s promises would tarry, Jeremiah’s purchase was a witness that there was a future for Israel.
As in Jeremiah 32: 6-15, we “buy a field,” as a sign of redemption for the future when we labor for societal change. In our case it’s not humans who invade the “field” that is referred to in the Scripture verses, it is sin. Sin will try to destroy everything good, leaving suffering and loss in its wake. In our efforts to redeem and restore, the Church becomes a prophetic witness of God’s promise of a new heaven and new earth—a promise of a day with no more tears and suffering in this land. Sin will be fully and completely removed. Christ will rule.
We join Christ, who “bought the field” of this world through His death on the cross. As the darkness of society vividly reminds us every day, Jesus has yet to put “every rule and every authority and power” under His feet (1 Corinthians 15:24-25; Hebrews 10:12-13).
But He will. And, by demonstrating Christ’s character and willingness to speak truth in sacrificial love, we join His work.
Indeed, we have a divinely given responsibility to advance God’s purposes in every sphere of society. We are called to “do justice” while we “walk humbly” with our God (Micah 6:8), discipling nations in the ways of Jesus’ Kingdom (Matthew 28:16-20).
Therefore, we can be grateful for every effort made toward racial reconciliation, God-honoring education, media, and legislation, and effective, accountable government that represents all Americans. Such efforts are a vital part of the “good works” Christians are called to do (Ephesians 2:10).
A Call for Kingdom Expectations
It was at the cross where sin, death, and evil were given their worst blow and Christ emerged triumphant (Colossians 2:13-15). Sin, death, and the devil were defeated! However, in the years after that triumph, if you looked at the political and religious power centers throughout the Roman empire and Israel, you would notice … surprisingly little appeared to have improved.
While individual lives were being transformed daily, societal and systemic change would take decades and generations. In fact, as the Church’s witness for Christ became more vibrant, the cultural challenges got worse with relentless political and religious persecution, leading to countless martyrs. Jesus taught that God’s Kingdom is likewise unrelenting—and ultimately victorious—but its growth is gradual. It’s like leaven working its way into bread or a mustard seed steadily growing.
There will be moments in which the Church seems unstoppable (Luke 10:17-20) and moments of crushing, apparent defeat. Once we understand God’s eternal perspective, we realize that even the defeats are disguised victories. History’s most heart-wrenching defeat was when Jesus was crucified, yet at that moment He was disarming the rulers and authorities and putting them to open shame (Colossians 2:15)!
While some people may interpret recent U.S. political events as indications of a victory or defeat of the Church or God’s will, we must not. While the Church’s earthly welfare is affected by political powers, that has never been the hope the Church has to offer to the world. We have something far better and more enduring (Hebrews 11:16).
We measure “victory” not by circumstances but by faithfulness. God will bring the results He wants in His timing and His way.
A Call for Kingdom Methods
God’s Kingdom is resisted. Real people cause real suffering for other human beings, with the best example once again being the cross. Even so, Scripture is clear that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood” but “against the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12).
So how do we respond to humans who cause us pain? First, we take comfort that God sees us, God is with us, and God will reward our faithfulness when we suffer unjustly (Matthew 5:11-12; 1 Peter 4:14). We are never alone, and God always has the last word.
We also recognize our common sinfulness and our common need for grace. The Gospel humbles every one of us, telling each of us directly: “you … were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” (Colossians 1:21). We can only say what the Apostle Paul said: “… by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). We have no cause to think we’re better than others.
This in no way means Christians become doormats. It does mean that someone needs to be the mature adult in the conversation. That someone is you. We’re neither passive nor aggressive but rather assertive and courageous, speaking the truth in love.
A Call to Wisdom from Above
Finally, how do we sort through the noise? What is God’s will? What’s the “right side” of history? James 3:13-18 is clear: When we see disorder and vile practices, then we can be confident that sin is at work, regardless of anyone’s claims to know or represent God’s will. When we see traits like purity, gentleness, reasonableness, and mercy, then we can be confident that God is at work, even through imperfect human beings.
Ultimately, those indicators of “wisdom from above” will lead to “a harvest of righteousness,” which is a deeper faith and trust in Jesus Christ. If we’re following wisdom from above, our lives will more clearly reflect Jesus and His Word, and we’ll be able to make a more eternal impact in society. Mordecai told Esther, “who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
Mordecai believed in divine providence through national and ethnic turmoil. So do we.
May God give us grace to faithfully live for Him in this hour of history, laboring for societal change for the Kingdom of God and offering the hope and healing of Jesus Christ and His Gospel.
Rob Waldo is vice president of member services for Samaritan Ministries International. Samaritan Ministries offers followers of Jesus Christ an effective, Bible-driven health care sharing ministry, where their growing biblical community shares approximately $30 million in medical needs person to person each month. Over the past 26 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $2.3 billion in needs while praying for and encouraging one another with personal notes, cards and letters.