Recently I asked four friends for a few prayer requests I could bring to the Lord for them. Interestingly, two of the four asked for prayers for the election results here in the USA. They were quite concerned.
It seems their experience is common. The world situation is scary and the stakes are high. We wonder who might be able to keep things on a steady course.
Earlier I wrote about why Christians must participate in their country’s electoral process. That doesn’t mean we have to vote for someone in every office even if we cannot find enough common ground. It just means that in general we are to take part in the government as requested.
But even though we are to vote, Christians shouldn’t worry about the election results. Here are four reasons why:
1. God is in control
God is sovereign, meaning He is ultimately in control of everything, including election results. No matter who is elected by human vote, God is also in control. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and.
I came to this realization of biblical truth later in life. When I finally did, it brought great peace to know that while people do things, God is still in control.
There is no situation where this is better described than in the issue of political leaders. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (ESV)
Whoever becomes President, Senator, Governor, Mayor and so on, is elected ultimately under the direction of God.
Sometimes we might think He made a big mistake, but nonetheless, He is in control.
Perhaps God uses some leaders to judge people, or to humble people so that they look to Him, or to put nations in place so end times prophecies will be fulfilled.
We may never know why God has “instituted” the leaders in office until the other side. But one thing we do know is that He is in control.
This gives us peace.
2. Worry is always wrong
Sorry to be so blunt, but the Bible is really clear about this.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” (Philippians 4:6a NLT)
If you’re a Christian and worrying about election results, you’re disobeying God’s Word. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, knowing this, I never worry about anything, I just get “concerned.” The problem with this explanation is that word translated “worry” means something akin to “concerned.”
The Greek word here means “to be divided, distracted.” The idea is that we find our thoughts pulled away from what they should focus on to
• too many hours watching political channels or listening to talk radio
• fretting about the election results
• debating or arguing with the “other side”
• constantly posting our viewpoints on social media
Staying involved is not wrong unless it gets out of balance—an obsession. In fact, we should participate. But we should not be involved to the extent that the election, politics and government become our passion.
I have strong political and moral views. But, hopefully, I don’t allow those opinions to become my focus.
What should be my focus? The answer is in the latter half of the verse cited above.
Again, it says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
Instead of worrying, we are to turn our concerns over to God in prayer and thankfulness. The result is wonderful peace.
Don’t you love the promise, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand…!”
3. Christians are citizens of heaven
Philippians 3:20a states clearly, “But our citizenship is in heaven.”
Sure, we are citizens of a country on earth. But ultimately, we are foreigners here. Our real citizenship is in heaven.
So why would we get worked up about election results here on earth? Every one of us will soon be leaving to spend eternity on the other side.
The Leader of the Eternal Kingdom is the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords!” (Revelation 19:16).
Our lives in a country here are a flash-in-the-pan compared with our lives in eternity. Thus, worrying about this life is not only futile, it’s silly.
Why do we fret? Because we get our eyes off the goal. So we must do as The Apostle Paul wrote about earlier in this chapter:
“I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:13b-14 NLT)
4. Our real hope is in Christ
If we are worrying about an election, it’s a sign we’re trusting in the wrong thing!
Our hope must NOT be in:
• Politicians & political parties
• Positions of influence
• Family members
Each of these have their place, but it is not their place to be our ultimate hope!
Soon all these will be gone, as a result of the next election, retirement, financial reversal, deaths or our own death. None are permanent and reliable.
There is only One who is permanent and reliable: The Lord!
“We are merely moving shadows,
and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.”
(Psalm 39:6-7 NLT)
For five decades I’ve watched election results, elected officials, political parties and political movements come and go. Through them I’ve come to affirm what the psalmist wrote 3,000 years ago: “My only hope is in you.”