There is a lot of hurt in our nation right now. A lot of despondency. Confusion. Anger. There is an overwhelming amount of frustration, on both sides. And there’s worry. Even from Christians. Even from those who voted for our new president elect.
And into this tangle of emotion, people keep proclaiming the words, “Trust in God”; “God is still on the throne”; “God is in control.” And yet, where is the impact of that faith? How are those words really able to comfort us right now? In looking at a future that is less than shining, doesn’t it feel more like our hope in God’s sovereignty hasn’t really gotten us anywhere?
Those words feel hollow far too often. But, as Christians, our lasting hope is truly placed in the heavenlies with God. We have the opportunity to look beyond just this election, beyond just life’s circumstances, to keep our eyes on the ultimate goodness of God. Despite emotional turmoil in the nation, we can have the peace “which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).What does it actually mean to trust God in the wake of this election? Click To Tweet
We know that God is understands our emotions, though. Whether that be frustration, disappointment, worry, relief, sadness — our God knows and He cares. Psalm 139:2 says, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.” God created emotion and He cares about our emotions, all of them. Just look out how the psalmists poured out their hearts to God.
And not only does God understand because of His love for us, but He has personally experienced living under a government which He strongly disagreed with (to the point that it kind of puts a lot of our complaints to shame). While Jesus was here on the Earth, Rome was in charge of Israel. The people there were harshly taxed and harshly treated.There was no hope for many people in this life here on Earth.
And yet Jesus didn’t come and change the government, as many hoped He would. He kept His focus on what was more important — the hearts and the souls of the people around Him who desperately needed God’s love. While Jesus was here on Earth, He healed people, He listened to their hearts and stories, and He shared truth with them about the way to eternal hope and salvation.While on Earth, Jesus focused most on the hearts and souls of people. Click To Tweet
And that should still be our focus today. While being involved in our government and politics is a wonderful opportunity, and while standing up for what is right is crucial, our utmost purpose lies in the words that Jesus left with His disciples in His last moments here on Earth — “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19). People need to know about the grace and mercy Jesus offers them more than they need anything else. That’s the hope we need to share with them.
Our hope also comes in the knowledge that nothing can happen unless God allows it. That doesn’t mean that only good things happen (ask Job about that one) but it does mean that God has a plan within whatever happens. Romans 8:28 promises, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Even when something looks bad, even when something is bad, God can use it to teach, to change lives, and to bring people into His saving grace. Just look at how he used Joseph (Genesis 40-45), or Esther (the book of Esther), or Ruth (the book of Ruth). If God can use those dire circumstances for good, how can we not trust Him to work in what our nation is going through?
So, as Christians, what is our job now? How do we respond to our own hurt and our hurting nation?
- Focus on the people around us. In John 13:34, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” That is something that is sadly missing in most of our nation’s dialogue right now. As we strive to follow in the footsteps of Christ, we need to take this opportunity to reach out to the people who need to hear about our Savior, the people who are hurting too badly to even care about this election, the people who think this election is either the answer or the end of their hope. They all need to see a truth in our lives and in our speech that is deeper than the election, because every day there is something greater on the line than anything this election could have thrown at us — the souls of human beings that are loved by God.
- Be respectful and stand up for what is right. As Christians, we have a responsibility to show respect for the offices of those placed in authority over us, because God Himself allowed them to be there. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” This isn’t the time to being hurling insults or announcing that President-Elect Trump isn’t your president. He is because that is what God allowed. But, respect doesn’t include allowing people to get away with whatever they want. In Isaiah chapter 1, God tells the people of Israel, “Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless; plead for the widow.” This lines up with the just heart of God — when we see a wrong we still have the obligation to show love to the people being hurt by standing up for them. And that is something our government allows and encourages us to do, praise the Lord. How do we, as Christians, respond in the emotional wake of the election? Click To Tweet
- Keep your eyes on the eternity to come. Philippians 3:20 says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” and Hebrews 13:14 says, “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” This Earth is not our home. America is not our true citizenship. We should always keep our eyes on our home in Heaven, living here like pilgrims who are passing through. Let’s use this election, with all of its frustrations, to pull out roots we may be allowing to get too deep here on a planet that is fading away. Let’s allow God to draw our hearts closer to desiring eternity with Him above anything else.
This election is neither the answer to problems nor the end of all hope. Through Christ, we have a promise that transcends world happenings.
And because He is sovereign, now is our time to be in prayer for our future president, our nation, and our neighbors. As I pray for the people who are scared or heartbroken over this election, I pray also that God would choose to work in the life of President-Elect Donald Trump to do good through him that we maybe can’t even imagine. I pray that God would work in his heart to bring him to a realization of his need for the Savior, Jesus Christ. And I pray that Christians would be bold and loving in this new raucous and uncertain season, that God would give us the courage to live up to 1 Peter 3:15 —“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…” I pray that He would give us the strength to speak up most for what is most important — God’s desire for every person to come to salvation.
God is here, He is working, and He is good. Let’s trust Him to continue to work through us for our good and the good of the people around us whom He loves so desperately.