As I write these words, there are still a few days to go before the election; by the time you read them, it will be history.
Regardless of the outcome, there are going to be some Americans who are elated, some who are in despair, and some who are just glad it’s all over. Likewise, there will be some who believe America is on the right track, some who believe we’re headed straight toward ruin, and some who will say “let’s wait and see.”
There have been a lot of intense feelings on both sides this year.
As Christians, there are two truths we need to remember when it comes to politics (not just two, of course, but two I want to touch on today).
First, we need to recognize that in a nation like America, our government is a stewardship. Involvement in selecting our leaders, impacting policy, and so on, is our right as citizens, and as such, we should exercise wisdom in these matters and treat them as the stewardship they are. We may not all be called to run for office, but we can all do something.
The second truth is that, even as we recognize and accept our role as stewards, we should never transfer our trust from God to our elected leaders, however much we might believe in them. Psalm 118:8 is clear: “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
Please don’t misunderstand me. I believe it’s important to have godly leaders, and I wish we had more of them. I don’t say we should abandon politics and simply sit back and “trust God” to work things out. Involvement in the process is a stewardship as I mentioned a moment ago.
But is it really right that we should go to bed on election night feeling that all is right with the world because our chosen candidate won, or feeling hopeless because our candidate lost? Where is our trust?
God is in control either way. Nothing takes Him by surprise. And the outcome of history is no less in His hands simply because one election does or doesn’t go the way we prefer.
This isn’t a call to apathy, passivity, or withdrawal. It’s a call to recognize that God is bigger than any one election, any one leader, any one nation, or any one moment in history.
As I mentioned at the start of this article, I’m writing these words before election day. I don’t know the outcome yet. But here’s my encouragement to you: if your chosen candidate wins, realize that he’s just a man and isn’t our savior—politically or otherwise. And if your chosen candidate loses, remember that God is still in control and isn’t any less so today than yesterday.
Yes, elections have consequences—some perhaps more than others. That’s why we should be involved.
But it’s never right to put more hope in a man than in God.
And so I ask again, where is our trust? Our confidence? Our hope?
If we despair, feeling that all is lost when a certain candidate loses, can we really say our hope is in God? If we’re elated and feel that the weighty problems of the world are as good as solved because a certain candidate wins, are we trusting God—or man?
Regardless of the outcome of this—or any other—election, I want to encourage all of us to keep our eyes on God. Our ultimate hope always rests in Him, never in man.
And the truth is, the challenges our nation faces are beyond the ability of any man to solve. The drift of our country away from God won’t be fixed by new legislation or different policy, important as those things may be. We need revival and awakening—and that can only come from the hand of God.
And so whether your preferred candidate wins or loses, let’s focus our attention on the truth of Psalm 97:1: “The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad.”
No matter who wins, God is still on His throne, and we have cause to rejoice.
The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
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