There are many ideas and opinions floating around concerning President Trump’s recent executive order on refugees. Without a doubt, it’s a touchy subject, and (maybe to your relief) I’m not writing this post to give my two cents on the matter. But this current “hot topic” in the news, along with the division, protests, and strife occurring within our country right now, have definitely stirred up some thoughts and emotions within me as I consider how all those who trust in Christ, no matter their race or country of origin, are strangers and exiles in this world. Hebrews 11:13-16 says, “These [Abraham and his descendants] all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”
For believers, the best is yet to come. Our eternal home, a heavenly city prepared by God Himself, awaits us. Our hope is not in the government. Sure, the decisions made and laws passed by our government officials do impact us, but they don’t define us. No matter what happens in our nation or abroad, our mission is still the same. Of course, we should be concerned for the physical well-being of our fellow man, but more than that, our concern should be for their spiritual well-being; after all, a person’s body is designed to last only a lifetime, but a person’s soul will last for eternity. For this reason, Christ calls us to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). May we be emboldened to share the Gospel with every nation, tribe, and tongue, no matter where that may lead us, and may we walk alongside those who are enduring physical affliction as strangers and exiles in foreign lands, showing them the love and compassion of Jesus Christ our Lord. For man’s only hope is Christ, who “bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24a).