United: Freaking Out About Election Day
Tomorrow’s election of a president has brought out the worst in this country. Divisive and angry rhetoric fills my social media feeds and the 24 hour news cycle. To say we will all be glad to move past November 8th is an understatement.
Ironically we can look on both sides of the aisle and find Christians wringing their hands over the future. Our uncertainty and concern unites us in a weird way whether you are convinced a Trump presidency or a Hillary one will lead to the certain destruction of the free world as we know it.
Last weekend at the Just and Sinner Conference the topic was Christ and Culture. I think whether Christians know it or not, we are discussing this topic ALL THE TIME. How involved is Christ in our daily lives? In our government? In our schools? Is there only one way to vote as a believer? What kind of president would Jesus make? How do we insert our religion into our culture or how is it already there? Is popular Christian culture in a healthy position to be telling the world anything?
There are plenty of questions we can ask, and many of them might be misguided to begin with. But this election season has most believers looking up to the heavens for a sign that Christ is just going to show up and save us from ourselves hopefully within the next 5 minutes. Regardless of the questions Christians are asking, we are all pretty desperate for some answers.
Where is God actually at in all of this?
Throughout the discussions at the conference, I was repeatedly reminded that God is still very much in charge. And this was a comforting truth. God made this world and gave us a mandate to live and work in it. He is well aware of our state of affairs.
So often we get swept up in all the scary things that happen in this world and we can quickly get confused about the big picture. People shake their heads in disgust at what’s going on “out there,” or launch into a list of ugly news headlines. It’s easy to get caught up in this and begin to feel like the sky is falling in.
And it IS true that Satan is actively attacking us with the intent to separate us – and keep us separated – from God.
It’s true that The Accuser is constantly asking us if God REALLY said He will not abandon us nor forsake us.
There’s no doubt Satan loves it when the “what if’s” fill my head and I get scared that the cushy life I currently live might get knocked off kilter.
Satan is engaging in every battle hoping he can convince us he is winning and it’s hopeless to expect God to get involved at all. I mean after all, look at this place. What a mess.
But in fact he is not winning. The war is, and has been, over. Satan hopes we won’t get the message, but he has already been bound up by God. He is being limited right now in what he can do; how he can reach us. Scripture says that already there is nothing outside of Christ’s control (Hebrews 2:8-9).
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. Hebrews 2:8
It says we can’t see it; we can’t tell right now. Right now it looks to us like this place is going to hell in a handbasket. But in truth, God rules over everything. He reigns over all of us – our governments, cities, our villages, our families. In this country and all over the world, the Lord is supreme.
The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Psalm 93:1
He won’t be surprised by the election. His plan won’t be thwarted.
Oh and He doesn’t want to be president either. He’s already God of the universe.
The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. Psalm 135:6
The winner of the election isn’t a message from God about the direction He wants this country to go in. The loser of the election doesn’t tell us anything about who God is.
Do you not know? Have you not heard The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. Isaiah 40:28
We know who God is because of what Scripture says. And we don’t always understand how it works, nor are we satisfied with these elusive answers. In fact, the idea that God is in control is troubling to some and a great opportunity for Satan to suggest this means God clearly doesn’t love us because He allows for all sorts of atrocities in the world.
And there are definitely some tough questions Satan uses to lure us away from faith in God.
But we need to be reassured by the endless list of Scripture in which the Lord says, “Hey, I’ve got this.” We have to cling to His promises of everlasting faithfulness and love. We are an exhausting, ridiculous bunch of hooligans He has chosen to save and be near. It makes no sense He would stick with us, but He says He will and this promise is foundational to our belief.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:2-3b
Over and over in Scripture we see God come near to His children: his rebellious, misguided children. The story of the Israelites exemplifies this. Despite their issues, He remained committed to providing them with a Savior and stayed true to His promises. Reading through the Old Testament and the books of the prophets brings us into a world wrought with political upheaval and corruption. And through it all, God remained God. And His children remained His children.
When we seek our faithful God, He can reveal to us that we need not wring our hands and fret about the state of our country or about whether I’m still going to have health insurance next year. He reminds us of the eternal life that awaits, regardless of how un-cushy my physical life on earth becomes. He reveals to us the everlasting truth that He transcends the uncertainty of this life and will not forsake us. We remain united in Christ despite the results of tomorrow’s election.
God willing, we can cling to that promise as we encounter the uncertainty of this week.