It is hard to believe that in a matter of days this election season will all be over. There were certainly days where it seemed like it would never end. This whole process has been messy, discouraging, and confusing. There were days when I felt certain about who I wanted to vote for and then others when I just had no clue. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this election. Even if our vote wins it is hard to imagine what will transpire over the next few years. In all of this, there is something that does not need to be uncertain and that is how we respond on November 9th. God has given us His Word to train us in righteousness and to make us ready for good works (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Through His Word He shows us the way to live (Ps. 119:105) and what pleases Him (Eph. 5:10). So take a deep breath and pursue these responses when the election is over.
Pray: Paul instructs Timothy (1 Tim. 2:1-3), “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior…”. Before you rejoice or lament over the announcement of the next president of the United States, pray for that individual. It is very hard to hate the person you are lifting up in prayer. God also shows us that the way that we are able to live peace-filled lives is ultimately not through voting but through prayer. Our prayers are more powerful than democracy. Through our prayers God can bring about decisions and acts for the good of all men. Notice that Paul also calls for us to lift up “thanksgivings…on behalf of all men.” Part of having peace in our hearts and living lives of godliness is having gratitude even when things don’t go our way. We can still thank God that He is in control. We can thank Him for the freedoms that He has allowed us to enjoy. We can also thank Him that He has a plan for whoever is in charge (which may even include their salvation). So let us “first of all” pray knowing that this is “good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior”!
Submit: Next we look to instruction from Peter (1 Peter 2:13-17), “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” God calls for us to submit to authority. Peter points out that this is His will (vs. 15). It is through this submission that others see a godly witness from us. Rather than hear whining or witness worry, our world should see how we honor all men, love one another, fear God, and respect the one in authority. Paul teaches us in Rom. 13 that this authority comes from the Lord and as Peter also shows us, this is regardless of the fairness or ruthlessness of the ruler. In submitting to those over us we display our submission to God. We also follow the example of Christ who submitted and suffered under the authority of those He didn’t have to so that God’s will would be accomplished! So before you complain, riot, or cause a scene know that God wants you to submit, not so that the ruler would receive glory and praise but for His sake (vs. 13).
Trust: Finally, let us trust. The future of our country doesn’t rest on your vote. It doesn’t rest on who becomes the next president. No individual holds that kind of power. God is not relying on us to “get it right” nor is He relying on a person to set our country state. As Paul and the writer of Hebrews teaches (Col. 1:17, Heb 1:3) Jesus holds all things together and He does so by His powerful Word. We can trust the power and authority that belong to Jesus. We can trust that whatever will come to pass will be for His glory and for our good (Rom. 8:28-29).
Praying, Submitting, And Trusting With You,