It’s taken us years to get this point. The election of 2016 was never just about 2016. Announcements, campaigns, and promises all began several years ago. Events that took place more 20 years ago are analyzed and utilized to persuade potential voters. Our present was the culmination of years of history that found itself played out on the world stage last night.
We had months of name calling, disputes, and even severed relationships . . . and I’m not referring to the candidates. Now the results are in and after what was a long night for many people, we wake up today with a clearer picture of what our future looks like. It doesn’t seem to matter what candidate won, the results to many Americans are horrifying. Throughout the campaigns many lamented the fact that our ‘best options’ for the presidency were personified by the candidates we had (including third-party candidates). We were faced with an alarming thought: somebody was going to win this election. It didn’t matter who win, people were going to despair regardless. However I find last night’s results to compel me into excitement.
As Christians who have an eternal hope in God through Jesus Christ, despair should not be the key word in our description. Instead, fixated on the things above (Colossians 3:1-4) our view of the world and current situation is filtered through the lends of Scripture. As such, here are three ways in which I am encouraged by this election cycle, and you should be to:
- It Reveals Faith: Christians find themselves conflicted over Romans 13:1-7, unsure about the extent of submitting to authorities. However, we also learn from this passage that authority is instituted by God and thus submission to them is submission to God. These past two years Christians have found it increasingly difficult to live out their scriptural convictions. This is certain to get more difficult and it is going to be test of our faith and trust in God. The more difficult it becomes, the more deeply rooted in the Lord, His Spirit, and His Truth we need to be. Thus, the true extent of your faith will be revealed.
- It Reveals Christians: Oppression will reveal who the true Christians are. It is a natural winnowing of the church. Whether it be the hard teaching of the truth from within the church or the hard oppression from outside of the church, false believers are quick to leave behind the truth if they are not truly convinced of it (Luke 13:22-30; John 6:60-71; 15:1-27; 2 Timothy 4:1-4).
- It Reveals Glory: Finally, it is expected that God will reveal His glory through the people and events that takes place (Romans 8). However, our lack of understanding causes a lack of excitement at just how magnificent this really is. To think that God can use the most awful of events in order to further His purposes confounds the mind. Yet, consider the Old Testament stories. Whether it be his use of Pharaoh for the believers in Egypt or the use of Babylon over Israel the Lord used seemingly the most painful and challenging experiences that drew attention to who He was and strengthening the faith of the believers.
It is easy to gloss over these three points and consider them simplistic in nature, but they are not. Yet each revelation should point us back towards God, strengthening our relationship to Him. Therefore, we should not take them lightly.
Neither should we take the election results lightly. Regardless of our thoughts about who the next president will be, our call is to serve God. Our allegiance is to Him, our trust is in Him, and our life is for Him. Therefore despair over an earthly present is not what motivates us, but a hope in a heavenly future does.