What Next?

It is the day before the U.S. election. Passions and rhetoric are heating up. Just in the past week, I have seen a former student forced to delete a social media post where she implored all believers, whatever their political viewpoints, to respect those with different ones and not belittle or harass them. That went over, as they used to say, like a lead balloon. There were positive comments, like mine, where I said we just each need to vote and then trust God for the results. But within minutes, there were discordant voices stating how much they disagreed with her and how disappointed they were in her viewpoint. One replied to my comment by asking, “Should we continue to sin so that grace may abound?” Quoting the Apostle Paul out of context, he seemed to imply one political view was right and the rest were sin. The woman who originally posted decided she had had enough and deleted the post.  I have also heard people linking this election to our religious freedoms, implying that if President Trump wins, those freedoms will remain secure; however, if Joe Biden wins, they will be taken away. 

As I wrote last week, many believe this is a “must” win for their political affiliation. Doom and gloom await if the other side prevails. So what do we do next, after the results of the election are known? Here are some things I am planning to do. Feel free to adopt them as well.

*If the ones I voted for win, I will humble myself before the Lord. I will not boast to those on the other side or in any way celebrate, because I know that no politician is the savior of this nation, nor will he/she be able to fix what is wrong. I will instead trust in the Lord to work his will. And I will pray for our political leaders who are elected.

*If the ones I voted for lose, I will humble myself before the Lord. I will not panic, wring my hands, or immediately begin to rail against the winners. I will, instead, accept the result because the Lord allowed it. I will trust God because I know that, ultimately, he is in control. And I will pray for the newly (re)elected president and all the rest of those voted into office. 

*Regardless of the result, I will move on with my life. I will continue to follow Jesus, rest in his peace, and proclaim his transformative power to change lives to anyone who will truly believe in him and acknowledge him as Lord of their lives. My hope is, and always will be, in him and him alone. I will refuse to tie my hope to a political party or even a nation. When I decided to follow Jesus, I became a citizen of a different Kingdom, one that is eternal. Regardless of outside pressure, my duty will remain to promote this everlasting Kingdom, not an earthly one. However, I will remain a good citizen in the nation I was born in as long as it doesn’t ask me to compromise my commitment to Jesus. If that happens, I will gladly accept the consequences of maintaining my first love.

If you are reading this and are eligible to vote but haven’t, please vote. We live in a democracy where our vote is the means to express our preferences in governance. But afterward, I implore you to accept the results because God is in control. He can be trusted, even if you are aghast at the results. His Kingdom is far too great to be shaken by an election result. His purposes will not be thwarted.

What next? Be humble. Be at peace. Be hopeful. And pray.

© Jim Musser 2020

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