John Adams Teaches Us How to Overcome
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By William Brannan
Today we are facing so many social, political and economic difficulties that many people wonder whether we will be able to overcome them. Questioning whether we are able to turn around a failing system is a pertinent question because, when honestly asked, it confronts reality. A message of hope, without a realistic solution which has the power to bring positive change, is worthless. Our hope must be based upon a solution which has power to bring forth salvation.
Dealing with problems is something that we all face at various levels almost daily. It is something that we often do without even realizing because we know how to effectively deal with most of our problems. For example, we all have a need to heat our homes during the winter, and in order to deal with this need we have purchased a furnace and have paid the utilities so that are home will be heated. Yet, what if our finances leave us in a position where we find it difficult to pay our utilities bill? Then, we must become creative in how we deal with that problem. Some people will turn to various organizations, others will request help from friends and family, and others may take on a second job. Every person will seek a viable solution to such a problem. The same thing would be true if the power goes out. We had to face this problem numerous times in recent years, and we dealt with it through building a fire in our fireplace, and using a kerosene heater.
Yet some problems are much more difficult to solve. What if one of our family members has become addicted to drugs? What if we have lost our job because of the economic recession? What if our neighbor's house becomes abandoned and turns into a crack house? Such problems are much more difficult to solve, but most of us would know where to begin. Yet, when our problems seem to be at a national level, the average person may not know how to begin to deal with them. There is so much at stake when we deal with such problems, that it would be disastrous if we choose to turn to a savior that does not have the power to deliver us. In America right now we are facing economic, social and moral distress from which we need real and practical deliverance. We need to find a way of salvation that is able to bring real transformation.
In our personal lives, when we face difficult situations, we will often ask the advice of our parents. In America today, I believe our founding fathers should be turned to for advice on how to deal with our national problems. John Adams is one of our founding fathers who has clear advice on how we can overcome. During the first year of the American Revolution it looked like it was impossible to defeat the British. The Americans were beaten in every battle, and the state of the union was falling apart. Many people were wondering whether or not they should abandon ship. The finances for the war were failing, people were dying and it seemed like they were facing an impossible situation. Many states were wondering whether they should pull out of the war for Independence and count their losses. In that dark hour people were looking for hope that would give them the courage and conviction that victory was possible.
Faced with a moral responsibility for leading real people, someone asked John Adams whether he thought they had a chance to win the war. That question was not a philosophical question, but the question of someone who was going to make a choice which would affect future generations. By the grace of God, he asked that question of the right man, for John Adams had a clear vision of how victory could be attained. John Adams told the man that they could overcome if they would fear God and repent of their sin. That was their strategy for winning the war of Independence.
That advice rings down through the ages to our founding fathers' posterity and gives us a clear strategy on how to overcome our current difficulties. In Matthew chapter 3 John the Baptist declares that the axe is laid to the root. It is only when we cut off the root that we will have the victory. Simply cutting off leaves or branches will not take care of the problem. The root of every problem that we are facing today is sin. The only solution that deals with the root, and will bear lasting fruit is to fear God and repent of our sin. Our founding fathers have left us a testimony that such a strategy is able to deliver a nation from problems which seem impossible. May we listen to their advice, and prove the power of God for salvation again in our generation.
William Brannan is an accomplished pastor, author, and speaker. He is the founding pastor of King's Way Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has written three books, Spiritual DNA and The Law & Gospel, and The Word on Prayer. Please visit William's website at http://www.missionharvest.org to find out more.
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