Election fever has broken, and I admit I am thankful to have it behind us. The thing about elections is- sometimes the candidate you want to win just doesn’t. What you firmly believe is best doesn’t happen.
What’s a voter to do when election fever breaks and leaves clammy disappointment in its place? What’s a Christian voter to do?
- Come down from your hilltop, Jonah.
I’ve seen quite a few “well, this is what you chose America – it’s going to be terrible and it’s all your fault” posts popping up in my newsfeed the past few days. We all have a Jonah-streak in us. We want to sound the alarm, give the warning, and then settle down on the hilltop and wait for God to rain down fire and brimstone on all of those people. The thing is, God was much more interested in saving repentant sinners in Nineveh than he was in allowing Jonah a private “I told you so” victory party in the comfortable shade of his vine. Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see and a heart of compassion for the people who do not know their right hand from their left.
- Take a look at the culture around us.
People feel hopeless, afraid, and angry. They are desperate for hope. Now is not the time to retreat and lick wounds in anger. What we see in our culture is symptomatic of deeper issues and we are called to engage, not retreat! Love the Lord your God – and love your neighbor as yourself. Including that neighbor with the political sticker you hate proudly displayed on their car. Look at the people you are walking past in the grocery store, see the struggling in your community, get involved in a rescue mission, start a Bible study in your neighborhood. Do something. Resolving to fight harder for your political party next time around isn’t going to transform our culture. People desperately want something to hope in – and we know the only One who can truly transform their lives.
- Be a Daniel. A Joseph. An Esther.
Those three remarkable stories tell us of individuals who lived under foreign, hostile governments. One was carried off into Babylon as a captive. One was sold into Egypt as a slave. One grew up as an alien in a foreign land. But God used all three of those individuals to mightily impact the most influential rulers and governments of their day when they submitted to God and placed their lives courageously in His hands. This world is not our home. We’ve been mighty comfortable for a long time here in the United States, but if we are truly living for Jesus Christ we will stand out more and more vividly as aliens and strangers in a hostile land. Beg the Lord for the resolve of Daniel to live purely and courageously in a corrupt culture while interacting with those around us in wisdom and with tact. Entreat Him for patience and wisdom like Joseph as you wait for His timing and sometimes may be treated unjustly, remembering that the Sovereign Lord holds all things together. Ask Him to use us like Esther to preserve and lead His people during times of increasing hostility.
- Examine your own heart.
If Wednesday morning left us feeling hopeless, there’s a question we must ask ourselves as we take a hard look into our own hearts. If we feel despair and perhaps even a panic of sorts – who is our hope really in? The Sovereign Lord of the universe is on His throne no matter what limited and flawed human being happens to be occupying the White House. If the outcome of an election seriously shakes me, is it possible I have placed my trust in a person or political party as my “functional savior,” even while I profess faith in Jesus Christ with my lips?
God is more interested in His glory than our comfort. He is more interested in seeking and saving the lost than in allowing us to have an “I told you so” party. There are hurting people all around us who desperately need to hear the Good News and see it lived out in transformed lives.
“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man’s life is but a breath.
Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.