America is in its worst condition in our generation. Politically, our government has been paralyzed by partisanship. Culturally, we’re becoming more and more secular. And internationally, our reputation has never been lower.
America needs healing.
We need healing in our economy. We need healing in our businesses. We need healing in our schools. We need healing in our marriages and our families. And, most of all, we need healing in our hearts.
But our wounds are not fatal. I’m very hopeful. My hope is not based upon some vague wish. It’s rooted in the Word of God. It’s rooted in the belief that even when life is tough, God is good and he has a plan and purpose for our lives and for our country.
So what will it take to heal our land?
Almost 3,000 years ago God made a promise to King Solomon that’s particularly appropriate for us to internalize today. It’s a promise that he has made to all of us—even 21st-century America. God says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).
What is it that will heal America? We have to do the four things that God told Solomon and the nation of Israel to do. But never forget who God was speaking to in this passage. He was speaking to his people—the nation of Israel. God wants to heal his people today as well. He wants to start with the church. And pastor, he wants to start with you and me. As spiritual leaders, God has called us to model the four actions that will lead to national healing.
We must confess with humility.
God first says, “If my people will humble themselves … I will heal their land.” Pastor, we have to humble ourselves and lead our congregations to do likewise. The source of all of our problems is pride. We think we know better than God what will make us happy. It’s that pride that causes us to be disconnected from God on a personal level, a corporate level and a national level. Pride gets in our way and we forget that we need God. When we do that, we don’t admit our sinfulness, our faults and our failures.
We will never find personal or national healing if we try to hide our sins from God. Hiding our sins is the opposite of humility, and God will not bless it. Again, it starts with you and me. We’ve got to be honest and tell God where we blew it. We need to lead our churches in a time of confession as well. God’s people must admit that we’ve strayed from him.