This has been one of the most brutal weeks I can ever remember. The amount of disappointment, anger, fear, confusion, frustration, and venomous words is – quite honestly – a bit unfathomable. So, how are those of us who call ourselves “Christ Followers” supposed to process it all?
God’s Word is the ultimate lens we must always use to process everything.
Hear this clearly: A few Bible verses thrown together in a blog post is not going to take away all disappointment, frustration, or concern. Think of it like getting a long-awaited diagnosis from a doctor. The diagnosis doesn’t instantly cure the disease. But it does give you a place to focus (other than focusing on the unknown) and points us toward the cure.
My desire in this post is to point us toward God’s Word, point us toward what is right and true (rather than focusing on the unknown), and point us toward the One who is the Ultimate Cure for what ails us.
NOTE: A quick note before diving in: I am in shock right along with you. I am asking the same questions you are. I am still shaking my head at how we got to where we are. Truth be told, my head has been shaking for the last 18 months. These verses are some of the ones I am using to process this. My hope is you will join me and process this together.
A Reminder that God is Sovereign (Isaiah 40)
This reminder is one that, at first glance, can seem like a catch-all, too-easy platitude. It sometimes “feels” like saying, God’s in control so let’s stick our head in the sand.
But what if we truly believed that God was sovereign? What if we trusted that He was in control? What if we banked on the fact that He hasn’t been surprised by any of this and He is still moving in our country?
One of the most famous verses in the Bible is the Isaiah 40:31 (NIV).
…but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
Have you ever noticed what is said before “…but those who hope in the Lord?” Here’s a sampling:
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” (verse 1)
Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low…” (verse 4)
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” (verse 8)
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power…” (verse 10)
Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.” (verse 17)
He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.” (verse 23-24)
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” (verse 28)
God is sovereign. He is good. He is in control. He is not surprised. He will be here long after this – and every other – election.
A Reminder to Pray for Our Leaders. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
This is hard. Especially if the leader is someone we didn’t vote for, don’t agree with, or don’t like. But look at Paul’s words to Timothy:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
For most of the people I talked to, neither candidate was an appealing choice. (How’s that for understatement?!) But let me ask you a few questions:
- Is God’s grace big enough for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton (or any of the many other politicians who ran for various offices)?
- Do you deserve forgiveness and salvation more than they do?
- Has Jesus given up on [insert politician here]?
More than ever, those of us who claim the name of Jesus need to pray that the Father draws them closer, fills them with His Spirit, and transforms them into the leaders we wish they were.
A Reminder to Honor Our Leaders. (Romans 13:1)
This one can be even harder than the last one. That’s why I put them in the order I did. (I originally had them switched.) In the first verse of Romans 13, Paul writes…
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
Without an unwavering trust in the sovereignty of God and a willingness to pray for all our leaders, this one is impossible. Put another way: If our trust is in whomever is in leadership and we’re not willing to pray for them, we will only honor the leaders we voted for or like.
Again…this is not easy. Brutally hard actually. But we are not called to what is easy. We are called to what is right. The two rarely go hand-in-hand.
A Reminder that It Is OUR Job to Love Our Neighbors. (Luke 10:27)
A thought came to me before the election even happened. Before we knew the name of our next president.
The command to love my neighbor will not be impacted in any way by whomever sits in the White House.
Check out Luke 10:27.
[Jesus] answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
How much impact does the President of the United States (or any elected leader) have on your ability to live out Luke 10:27?
I created this image as a reminder to myself. It’s now the screensaver on my phone. Feel free to download it if you need the reminder as much as I do. Here are three versions (husband, wife or single).
A Reminder that The Lord is Near. (Philippians 4:5-7)
In times like these, one of the most quoted verses is Philippians 4:6-7. What drives me crazy is that 99% of the time, verse five is left out.
That is tragic because the last four words of verse five provide the foundation for verses six and seven!
Here it is…
The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The. Lord. Is. Near. Four words that change everything.
The Lord’s “near-ness” is the only hope we have of not being anxious. To leave those four words out of the equation is to give a command without hope of success. Unless we know the Presence of the Anxiety-Squelcher we have no other choice than to be anxious!
God hasn’t left us alone. He is right here. He has not given up. He is still with us. He is still for us. He is still…near.