Crazy. Absolutely Crazy.
Have you ever experienced anything like this? I have not. So how do we handle this contentious contest when the election is over? What are we to do now? Whether or not your candidate is on top, there is good news for each one of us – even with our concerns (and possibly fears) for our country, our children, our family, our economy, our morals, our court system, and our churches. Let me share three biblical principles to help you move forward from this election in a God-honoring way.
Our Responsibilities Regardless the Outcome of the Election
Our primary responsibility is to pray for governmental leaders – regardless of who they are or their party affiliation (1 Tim 2:1-4).
There may be other good and helpful things that you can do today, tomorrow, and over the next many days as we await the next election. But, the best thing you can do is obey the Bible which says to pray for your leaders. Our prayer begins with gratitude for God providing us protection through government and continues for the leaders that God would grant them wisdom and strength to do their job. We pray that God would protect the government as it seeks to protect us.
Why is it necessary to pray diligently for those who lead us? Because power corrupts. It seems that no matter how much power we get or how many things we get, we always want more. We are never satisfied (Eph 4:17-19). Those who are actually the servants of God for our good also happen to be sinners. They have the same problem we do. Self-interest. It is the natural response to life, but is the opposite of what God desires most from us (Matt 22:34-40). Power and self-interest create a powerful combination of temptation. As go the leaders, so goes the government. Therefore, it is imperative that we pray for those in authority.
Additionally, we also are to live a life that honors God in whatever we do. As we live a God-honoring life, we seek to demonstrate godliness and respect. This both helps our communities as a whole and our neighbors individually. This is part of God’s plan for every Christ-follower (1 Tim 2:3-4). Honoring God in daily living looks like submitting to governmental authority as we can in Christ, while demonstrating respect for those who are in authority (1 Pet 2:13-17).
Our Ultimate Hope
The ultimate hope is that all men everywhere have a personal relationship with Christ (1 Tim 2:3-7). God desires all people to experience forgiveness of their sins through the death of Christ on the cross. Jesus willingly died to pay the penalty for sin. The Bible teaches that we are to be grateful for government because when it operates the way God planned, it provides us the opportunity to share the wonderful Gospel message of the death, burial, and resurrection. Therefore, government helps protect us as we share the good news of Jesus Christ – His love, mercy, forgiveness, and sacrifice.
Many are concerned about the church potentially being persecuted in the near future. Indeed, it is not difficult to see how Christianity is under attack. Certainly in a postmodern world where anything and everything is valid, the world does not want a strong church with a biblical view of sin and truth from an authoritative, inerrant, and sufficient Bible. This is the exact context though that the Gospel shines brightest and clearly articulates an alternative way of living.
Our Complete Confidence
As this election becomes increasingly just a time in history, we again commit our complete confidence in God’s power and plan. The Bible encourages us as we recognize that God’s control includes elections and election results. Whether it is by the democratic process or through revolt, ultimately God controls government. Daniel, when speaking to Nebuchadnezzar, explained it best, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings;” (Dan 2:20-21; cf. Ps 75:7). Regarding nations and kingdoms, Isaiah wrote, “Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales;… All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless” (Isa 40:15-17). Essentially, all nations in the world along with their leaders fall under the providential control of God. The winner of this election only wins because it fits inside God’s plan. This plan is for our good and His glory as we strive to become more like Christ in it (Rom 8:28-30). With complete confidence of God’s Word, we can trust God.
So, regardless of your candidate’s finish, let’s keep our hope in Christ and focus on gratitude for the gift of government and, even greater, God’s control. Let’s also pray and hope that those elected in office will focus on serving people rather than being served. As Christ-followers, let’s also commit ourselves to respecting those in authority as we seek to live lives that honor God.
If you want to listen to my sermon delivered to Sonrise that reflects this blog, go to this link: http://ow.ly/jMEM305WI68.
THIS IS AN ADAPTATION FROM A POST THAT INITIALLY APPEARED IN THE NOVEMBER 2016 TRIBUNE, “THE RIGHT ANGLE: BIBLICAL WISDOM FOR A CONTEMPORARY WORLD.“