This past Friday morning we headed over to Duluth, MN for the State Republican Convention. It was Ken and I, 2 friends that were delegates too and our eldest daughter - Mara. My brother and sister-in-law also went over as my brother was a delegate and Mara went along to have fun exploring with my sister-in-law.
Anyway - we knew as we headed to the convention that we were going to try to encourage our party to recognize the issues that there are with our presumptive nominee. Recognize that he doesn't care about the Constitution or the party platform or the Bible or basically anything that we hold dear. There was a group of us that hoped we could get others in our state to see that and to not support Donald Trump here in MN or at the very least say that each person (even if they are in an elected position such as the chair of a branch of the party) could choose for themselves whether they wanted to support the nominee or not. Both Ken and I had decided to run for National Alternate so that we would have a chance to talk and help to get that message out. Ken didn't really want to win but as I have agreed to go with a friend (who became a national alternate at the district level) to the national convention anyway I thought it would be more interesting to go as an alternate so I did think it would be nice to win.
Public speaking isn't my favorite thing and so I admit I was feeling a little uptight over the upcoming events of the weekend knowing I would be speaking in front of over 1,000 people and knowing that we would be fighting for something that quite likely the majority did not agree with. As we traveled I read in my Bible. 1 Corinthians chapter 3 was what I was reading that day.
I read: "Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God," (Verses 4 and 5). This was such a great reminder and a comfort to me. I didn't need to worry about what I/we could do. God is the one who is at work in me. He is the one that makes me adequate for the task set before me.
The first day of convention (State Central Committee Meeting and then the start of the state convention) did not go very well as far as our goal of getting people to understand that some of us have convictions that it would be wrong to support someone such as Trump for president and that we would still like to work in the party to support other candidates but be free to not support Trump. A resolution to that effect did not pass and meanwhile speaker after speaker pushed the idea of the need for Unity. Not unity around principles we care about but rather unity around a candidate who doesn't stand for any of the conservative principles that we care about. The situation was feeling pretty dark. To me it really felt like people were being blinded. That they were coming to the place that they no longer cared about what is right and good they only cared that we might somehow "win" (Is it really winning for conservatives if you elect someone that doesn't care about the Constitution and it's Bill of Rights and who doesn't agree with our platform?).
The next morning in reading 1 Corinthians chapter 4 I was encouraged by this:
"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. or we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." verses 3-6
You might think - "Abbi, you are mixing up politics and spiritual matters". Yes I am. I feel they are quite entwined. Politics is a result of the spiritual condition of the people in our country. When people are blinded spiritually and not following Christ's light then they are not going to make wise and godly decisions concerning the condition of our country either.
However, I do fully realize that the politics of this country are not eternal and so no matter what happens here we do not need to lose hope. I love these verses:
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Saturday at the convention we had our opportunities to speak briefly. I just encouraged people to stand strong for what is right and leave the results to God. I won't go into details about what happened that day but overall the majority of the convention did not seem to have an interest in standing up for Godly principles, our Constitution or our platform. It was sad and a bit discouraging that people just didn't seem to care. At the same time there was a minority group that was wanting to stand up for those things and they did care. I was encouraged by them. Several of them came up to me and thanked me for speaking up. That has really encouraged me that I can't be afraid of speaking out for what is right and good. I may get ridiculed and people may get upset with me (this has already happened some) but when I am willing to speak up it encourages others to stand strong and do what is right too.
Sunday morning my reading led me to this passage:
"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord - for we walk by faith, not by sight - we are of good courage, I say and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
That was the reminder I needed when feeling discouraged. Basically don't be discouraged - God wants us to be courageous and no matter where I am my whole goal should be to be pleasing to Him!
Another good reminder was in my reading that morning:
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20
What is really important in life (whether our country falls or not)? To be reconciled to God and walk with Him. My job as a Christian is to be His ambassador - to represent Him wherever I go. I pray that I may do that to the best of my ability!
I found God's word so comforting and just what I needed this week. How about you?
Update: Just so that it is perfectly clear - just because I do not support Trump does not mean that I in any way support Clinton or Sanders. The thing is - people don't assume that I will support them or try to talk me into supporting them. Nor is the Republican party (which I have been a part of) trying to nominate them. So I am standing strong against Trump but that doesn't mean that I am any less opposed to Clinton or Sanders. I just wanted to be perfectly clear on that. :-)