I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this election season to end. The primary season was exhausting, and both major party candidates come across as the worst possible options ever. Rhetoric is out of control, especially on social media—I have friends and family who are otherwise reasonable yet come across as completely irrational when it comes to their favorite candidates.
I’m not one to wish my life away, but November 9 can’t come quickly enough. But this week, I read a reminder from Max Lucado that, along with my upcoming vacation, will make these next few weeks bearable.
Lucado made his prediction for November 9, and it set my heart at ease:
Voters on both sides feel frustrated, even embarrassed by it all. There is a visceral fear, an angst about the result. What if so and so wins? When we wake up to November 9, post-election, when the confetti is swept away and the election is finally over, what will we see?
I know exactly what November 9 will bring. Another day of God’s perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won’t on November 9, 2016. “The LORD can control a king’s mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1 NCV).
Understanding God’s sovereignty over the nations opens the door to peace. When we realize that God influences the hearts of all rulers, we can then choose to pray for them rather than fret about them. Rather than wring our hands we bend our knees, we select prayer over despair.
How comforting is it to remember that God is on the throne no matter who wins the election? Lucado calls to mind the words of the prophet Jeremiah, written when Israel was at its lowest point:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:22-25 (ESV)
The thing is, it’s not just the election that can drag us down and take our focus off of the One who reigns. Beyond politics and into every aspect of our lives, we can do well to remember these truths. My family is going through a pretty serious health scare involving my dad. I receive peace when I remember that God is in control. I have friends and acquaintances who are having to rebuild from a devastating hurricane. I hope and pray that they can find encouragement that God is in control.
Not only should we remember that God is in control, but we should put our trust in Him. We need to seek His direction for our lives. As the Lord told Jeremiah, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, ESV). Jesus told His followers:
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34 (ESV)
At a meeting at the beginning of the week with the ministry team I’m part of, and love to serve alongside, we shared what was going on in our lives. One man and his wife recently saw their only daughter and her new husband move 5,000 miles away. Another man lost the dog that was like a child to him and his wife, while one woman is in a hectic work season. A young, newly-married couple is dealing with the rigors and demands of veterinary school, while another couple is grappling with a different set of demands that come with married life.
The leader of our team reminded us of the apostle Paul’s words to the church at Philippi:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:4-8 (ESV)
Take joy. Be encouraged. Don’t despair. And never give up.
My prayer for all of us is that we can remember that God is in control today, that He will still be in control after the election, and that He is in control for eternity. May He give us all that peace that goes beyond our comprehension throughout this election season and in the years to come.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Stephen Denness