Many of us have breathed sighs of relief that the elections are now over! Now we can enjoy less mud-slinging as we watch television, and telephone calls won’t be filled with automated messages urging us to vote for one person or another. Without mentioning specific outcomes from any of the races, it’s safe to say that some will be unhappy and perhaps fearful because of the results. Let’s remind ourselves of things God has said.
Christians still have a responsibility to their government. Paul made that clear in Romans 13:1,2: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves” (NKJV). There is one exception to that, of course: When a government attempts to mandate sinful practices or to prevent us from doing what is right, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Thankfully, we presently live under a government that seldom puts Christians in that position.
This submission to government authority must come from the heart, we’re taught. Paul urged Christians to pray “for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good an acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:2,3). It should not matter whether one’s preferred political party holds power or not. Christians are to pray for all individuals in office, and submit to the laws of the land to the extent that we’re able.
Christians must remember that God is still in control. Some are depressed following elections, thinking that because their candidates didn’t win, then all is certainly lost. Have we forgotten that God is still in power? Jesus’ statement to the Roman governor Pilate is still true: “You could have no power at all against me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11). Some may be in office who have no friendly feelings toward Christians, but God still favors the righteous!
Our view of the future must always be influenced by faith in our all-powerful Father. To descend to pessimism or hand-wringing because the election results were not what we wished is to allow fear to overcome our faith. World events have always been overseen by God, and that continues to be the case. We still have reason to walk forward in hope.
“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him” (Psalm 32:10).
A Christian reflects on recent elections