"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10 NIV)
For many, Election Day is a day of elation. Flags wave and costly freedoms we hold dear find expression in a voting process designed to determine the future leaders and direction of our country. Voting is one of the primary ways that we participate in the democratic process, giving us a keen sense of significance and fulfillment as we exercise the opportunity to select whom we would like to see occupy the White House, as well as other leadership posts.
But the very next day … feelings of elation can deflate into despair when "our" candidates do not garner enough votes for victory. Initial disappointment is certainly understandable, especially when those who don't espouse biblical views gain office. God's Word should serve to ground us and to give us a greater perspective concerning the "winners" and "losers" in any political race. For believers, two questions need to be addressed during the electoral season: "Who are you ultimately trusting? Where have you placed your hope?"
On November 7, following Election Day, remember these truths in order to maintain an eternal perspective concerning temporal events, including who is positioned to come into power. Our God reigns over all.
It is culturally ingrained in the hearts and minds of many people that we are masters of our own destiny. Accordingly, our president, the person we elect, is regularly referred to as "the most powerful person in the world." The truth is, we are not "in control," regardless of who calls the White House home or who occupies a new seat on the Hill, but we can still be at peace. There is a power that rules and overrules all earthly authorities, and God's perfect plan cannot be thwarted. Proverbs chapter 21 begins with these words, "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will" (Proverbs 21:1 ESV).
1. Our citizenship is "dual."
We are privileged to live in the United States and enjoy greater freedoms than most others throughout history. Ours is a rich heritage of pilgrims and pioneers, revolutionaries and revivalists, inventors and industrialists, built on the foundation of freedom of religion, speech, press and free enterprise. With pride, we stand in the shadow of the Stars and Stripes and sing our National Anthem.
Nevertheless, while we highly esteem our national heritage, as followers of Christ we are dual citizens. Philippians 3:20 (NIV) says, "Our citizenship is in heaven." We can be loyal to our country, but must pledge our ultimate allegiance to the Lord of our lives. As citizens of His kingdom, our responsibility is to be His ambassadors, representing His values of love and faithfulness … of grace and goodness … of justice and mercy.
2. Our hope is in God.
Israel's people were reminded by God's prophets that their hope should not be dependent on their military power or their skillful politics, but on their personal relationship with their "All-Mighty" God.
Time after time God's people forgot these crucial truths; let's not make the same mistake. …
• Samson trusted in his own strength and was deceived. He died in a pagan temple (Judges 16:25-30 NIV).
• The Israelites trusted the judgment of a king rather than their God, and they suffered loss (1 Samuel 8:7-18).
• David trusted in his own wisdom and was humbled after his error in numbering his warriors (2 Samuel 24:2-4, 9-16).
• Solomon trusted in his political alliances but found his kingdom divided under the reign of his son (1 Kings 11:1-13).
• Ahab trusted in his position as king to take whatever he wanted but lost everything (1 Kings 21:11-29).
• King Ahaz trusted in the might of foreign allies but was taken advantage of by them (2 Chronicles 28:16-25).
So the question is, who are you placing your hope in – right now? Is it in the next president, your newly elected representative or in the Lord Jesus Christ? He is the only sure hope that can anchor our lives in the midst of changing, even turbulent times. The Bible says about Jesus, "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19 NIV).
3. Our world will be made right when Christ takes His throne.
It seems that with each election a new leader rises who carries the banner of "change." Change is an ever-popular message because our problems simply won't go away. We all sense that something has gone terribly wrong in our world, but many are unsure of the prescription to make it all right again.
We could cast our hope on Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, looking to them to be our political "savior" for creating jobs, ensuring prosperity, defending freedoms and upholding family values. Somehow, no matter how good the intentions or how worthy the efforts, politicians always fall short of expectations. This is one quality that Democrats and Republicans alike possess!
Am I saying, "Don't vote"? Not at all! In fact, I exhort you to vote for the candidates who most support the truths of the Bible, such as:
• The sanctity of life: The Lord says, "… I have set before you life and death … Now choose life, so that you and your children may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV).
• The sanctity of marriage: One man and one woman united in marriage (Genesis 2:24).
Certainly, it is important to be engaged in our political process and to allow God to use you to bring about change and further His purposes and plan. But be sure to maintain the proper perspective – an eternal perspective.
One day, our true King, Jesus Christ, will return … and He will indeed make all things forever right while tenderly wiping away every tear. Yes, one day, " … at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord …" (Philippians 2:10-11 NIV).