“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” Thomas Paine
When I read the above quote it reminded me of how I feel about the upcoming election. It would be easy to just decide to “check out” this time but I can find no more comfort in that than I can find in trying to decide for whom I will vote. And by not voting, would I be “taking a knee” on a civic responsibility?
I read an article about the choices we have to vote for are a reflection of our country. It would be difficult to argue against it. It would be easy for me to tell you that there is one candidate I cannot vote for on any condition. Logic might say that voting for the opponent would be the obvious choice. One of the many things lacking today is sound logic. I just can’t find any comfort in that decision as well. Maybe you feel the same way. So what are we to do? Vote for the lesser of two evils? I don’t have the answer, yet, but I keep on praying that God will guide me on what to do.
One thing I know with absolute certainty is that God is in control and He will continue to be in control on November 9th. No matter the outcome. Whoever wins the election will serve at the discretion of Almighty God. His word tells us that is true.
This summer I had the opportunity to visit Washington, DC. It was an opportunity to revisit some places I had seen many years ago and to see some things I had never seen before. The history of our country is far from perfect, but it is filled with incredible acts of heroism and faith. To be able to look at the beginnings of this nation and not see the hand of God is lost on me. Maybe it’s like the old saying that some people can’t see the forest for the trees.
It led me to think about the Founding Fathers and their faith and vision for this country. There were no guarantees that the nation they founded would last for any period of time. Many of us have started new families and know all too well the difficulties, even when things go well. Can you imagine starting a new country? And on top of that they still had to contend with England who were none too happy about their new independence.
Faith was an integral if not essential part of the creation of this nation. That hasn’t changed today. These men were willing to put their lives on the line to create this country. Are we willing to do the same for this country to continue?
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom to worship here.” Patrick Henry
What would the Founding Fathers think of the nation God allowed them to form today? How would they react to how Jesus and His gospel is treated? How do you think they would perceive those seeking to be elected to lead this country? My guess would be profound disappointment and hearts so broken they would turn to the same place they turned to when they started, and where we need to turn to now. They would turn to God. As we should.
No matter the outcome of the election, the future of this country, and for followers of Christ specifically, may be difficult. We very well may face persecution, real persecution for the very first time. Maybe it won’t be that bad, and if so we should praise God. But if it isn’t and things get much worse, then we should praise God as well. Knowing that the gospel spreads when the saints are persecuted, should we vote for the candidate most likely to persecute followers of Christ? I don’t have that answer. But I have hope. All of us who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have hope. He will return. One day, maybe soon, maybe many years from now. But He will return because He is in control and He told us He would.
“The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made ‘bare His holy arm in the eyes of all nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God,’ (Isaiah 52:10).” John Quincy Adams
Maybe the decision on November 8th is an easy one for you. Or maybe you are like me and have yet to find a decision with some level of comfort. Either way, the best and only option we have is to seek God and His will. Pray for other believers. Pray for the future of this nation.
“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.” Romans 13:1 (NIV).
When you are finished praying, pray some more. Ask for wisdom then do as God leads.
“He changes time and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Daniel 2:21 (NIV).
At this point I have not decided how to vote, including writing in someone; I also have no idea who will win or what will happen in the days, months and years to come. But I have decided to follow Jesus and in the end that is the most important decision any of us can make. I will leave you with a quote from an atheist and from the Risen Son of God:
“I think voting for the lesser of two evils in game theory always leads to more evil.” Penn Jillette.
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with great power and glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” Matthew 24:30 & 31 (NIV).
Pray and run to the cross!