Every presidential election season seems to bring with it feelings of unrest. It can leave you feeling uneasy and uncertain about our future. However, I want to remind you that you can have hope and certainty in this upcoming election. Don’t let the news media, social media, or anyone else discourage you from voting or rob you of a hopeful perspective.
Here are some reminders to maintain hope this election season.
1. Your prayers will produce greater results than your vote will.
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!” (James 5:16b-17 NLT)
No vote on a ballot will ever keep it from raining but your prayers can. Your prayers have the power to change the weather and to affect the outcome of this election. Don’t underestimate the power of praying for this election and for our government leaders.
2. After you pray, vote.
As a citizen of the United States you have the privilege to cast your vote in the upcoming Presidential election on November 8. Sadly, only about half of us will vote. In 2012 53.6% of registered voters turned out to cast their vote.
Compare that to Australia. Over 90% of eligible Australian citizens cast their vote in the last federal election. A big reason is that citizens are required by federal electoral law to enroll and vote in federal elections, by-elections, and referendums. If they don’t, they must pay a $20 fine.
Seth Godin reminds us that we don’t have to pay to vote here and we should exercise our freedom through voting. “Voting is free. It’s fairly fast. It doesn’t make you responsible for the outcome, but it sure has an impact on what we have to live with going forward. The only thing that would make it better is free snacks. Even if you’re disgusted, vote. Vote for your least unfavorite choice. But go vote.”
3. Trust that God is sovereign over all government leaders and elected officials.
What God has purposed he will bring to pass. No political party, leader, or government can thwart His will.
“The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.” (Proverbs 21:1 NLT)
Even though people abuse their political power, meaning it for evil, God can cause it to accomplish his will. You see this again and again in history of Israel from the Old Testament. God used ungodly leaders and nations over and over to accomplish his purposes. Regardless of the outcome of this election, God can and will, use the newly elected President to accomplish his purposes, whether they realize it or not.
4. Rest assured that God will reveal all things that are kept in secret.
Those in power often try and hide deceitful practices and/or their abuse of power.
Jesus assured us that he has control over this. He said, “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” (Luke 8:17 NLT)
It never fails. As often as people in the past have tried to get away with secretive things, it always comes to light. This principle never changes. All that is secret will eventually be brought into the open.
5. Remember that our ultimate hope is not in any government, political party, or leader this side of heaven.
Salvation will not be found in a leader or a government. It is only found in Jesus, the one leader whose kingdom will never end. “The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT)
We need to talk more about this King and Kingdom than any current Presidential candidate or political party. Whereas the newly elected President will serve a term of 4 years, the coming King will reign forever and ever.
Drew Griffin writes, “Early on an Easter morning 2,000 years ago, the sun rose on a different world. Christ’s resurrection was the first act of a new kingdom, it was an inauguration day like no other in history. Christ began a work with His resurrection that continues and will continue until He returns again. That work is to renew and transform this world from darkness into marvelous light; this begins with each one of us. Every Christian is a citizen of this new world order, this kingdom with no end, we live our lives in light of this truth and it effects our worldly interactions and supersedes our earthly allegiances.”
6. Loving others is greater than voting or any other form of political activism.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:1-3 NLT)
As Christ followers, we won’t change others through political reform. We can’t legislate Christianity. But we can love others and share the truth of hope we have found in Christ with them in the hopes that they too will become citizens of a much greater kingdom than any on this earth.