Pray for peace and prosperity
August 9, 2013
Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman are names that are seared in my mind. Maybe it is because their situation is so tragic, or maybe it is because every time I read the newspaper, or go on the internet, or listen to the radio, or see the TV their names are there.
Everyone in America seems to have a strong opinion about what happened and what should happen, and I'm no different.
But, I am trying to view this not from my point of view but from God's point of view. Now I will not pretend to know what God is thinking. His thoughts are so far above mine that there is no comparison.
However, God has given us His Word the Bible to help us understand situations like the incident with Trayvon and George.
Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies.
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44, ESV).
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Jesus also tells us to forgive those in our midst.
"For if you forgive others their trespasses, you heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15, ESV).
This forgiveness should be in our hearts even if the offender has not personally asked us for forgiveness. This does not mean we need to verbally pronounce forgiveness, if it is not requested.
At this moment, forgiveness is lacking in our country. We simply seem to be blaming either Trayvon or George, and if you do not agree with the opinion of someone else, maybe even your friend, they suddenly become your enemy. So what we have right now is a polarizing effect on our country. I pray this situation will not become more volatile.
What to do? I turn to the Bible again.
"…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
It seems it is up to the followers of Jesus Christ to come before God and in a sense put our best foot forward and rely on Him to resolve all earthly tragedies that are tearing our country apart. I believe God is the only one who can resolve the turmoil and bitterness that is so apparent in our land.
Please join me in praying for peace and prosperity in the United States of America we all love.
Pastor Jim Beilstein of Trinity Lutheran Church is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.