Have You Ever Wondered? Whatever happens, God is in control
As I write this article, it is the morning of Election Day and I have no idea what the outcome will be. There are, however, several things I can be sure of.
I have no doubt that in this election, like every other, Christ-honoring, faithful, Bible-believing Christians ended up voting for candidates from different parties. Just like the 12 apostles Jesus originally chose to follow him, Christians are, and have always been, politically diverse.
Do you think it was easy for a freedom fighter like Simon the Zealot to be on the same team as Matthew, the former tax collector? Talk about political diversity! What did they have in common? Precious little, except that they had the same Lord and Savior. We see in the book of Acts that, despite their diverse political leanings, they were united.
Too many of us today love the thought of diversity, but can’t stand diversity of thought.
Michael Green writes, “It is only when men and women are being reconciled with one another, despite all their differences, that skeptics will stop and take note of the Reconciler.”
So, how do we rise above the poisonous and toxic political climate in this country — no matter who wins?
1) We must realize that whatever happens, God is in control. Daniel 2:20-22 reminds us that it is God that sets up kings and deposes them.
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.”
In Proverbs 8:15-16, God tells us, “Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power. By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just; by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth.”
Romans 13:1 teaches us that “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
2) We can have confidence that — no matter who wins — the government is ultimately on the shoulders of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Isaiah 9:6 says “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Christians can be confident that in just a few generations both candidates in this presidential election will only be small footnotes in history, while Jesus will still be sitting on his throne and will still be the best known and most compelling person who has ever lived. We must all rest in the truth that the mission of God and the church’s future doesn’t depend on the outcome of this election.
3) Christians must commit to pray for whoever wins, whether we voted for them or not. It is our solemn duty and our Christian responsibility to pray for our government. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, we are reminded of the importance of praying for our political leaders and those in authority.
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
4) More than ever, Christians must excel at practicing civility, humility, unity, love and kindness. It’s always important to treat people like they’re important. It’s never wrong to treat people right, even if you think their wrong. There is simply never a good reason to be unkind.
Colossians 3:12 says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Ephesians 4:29-32 teaches, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
No matter who wins, let us all rest in the fact that our hope does not rely on this election. Our only hope comes from the fact that because of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross we can have forgiveness for the past, new life in the present and hope for the future.
May God bless America!
Russ Whitten is a local minister, writer and musician. His band, The Bonhoeffers, play every week at The Village Door. His book "Have You Ever Wondered?" is available on Amazon.com.