SEDALIA – As anyone who’s absorbed even the smallest amount of media knows all too well, the upcoming presidential election is fast-approaching. Adding fuel to the tumultuous fire of an election cycle are this year’s unique catastrophes – a global pandemic, social unrest, forest fires, and economic insecurity. For those wrestling with political anxiety, find comfort in knowing Scripture speaks clearly to how Christians ought to view and engage politics.
Those who struggle with worry over politics are actually struggling to fully know a sovereign God. Politics often reveal a lack of functional confidence in God’s sovereignty. The same God who repeatedly humiliated Pharaoh through plagues is the same God standing over our current political climate. The same God who humbled the great King Nebuchadnezzar to graze like a cow for 7 years is the same God who “makes the nations great, then destroys them” (Job 12:23). The same God who “removes kings and establishes kings” brings every elected official to power (Daniel 2:21). Christians must approach politics by affirming God’s power over every election, leader and nation.
Yet in the same breath, Christians recognize human responsibility to obediently “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). God is glorified through active Christian obedience in every realm of life. Therefore, the responsibility to prayerfully engage our political system is biblically warranted. Scripture is equally clear that blessing accompanies general adherence to God’s moral code, while conversely general rejection of common grace leads to God’s wrath (Romans 1:18-23). Christians are tasked with encouraging God’s biblical ethic through the political process and voting according to their biblically informed consciences.
Once a Christian has prayerfully and obediently engaged in the political process, Scripture’s final instruction is quite simple – rest in the power of God. Christian, entrust yourself to God’s providence that makes and moves all things. God is not prone to accidents, mistakes, or divine neglect. His plan before the beginning of time will never be thwarted by a political candidate, platform, or election outcome. God’s perfect plan will eternally continue, for “the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it?” (Isaiah 14:27) Rest in knowing that after fear and trembling, “it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). God is providentially at work in all human affairs – including and especially politics – actively bringing about His good plan.
Therefore, Christian, rest in God’s power and providence. Instead of worrying or striving for a preferred outcome, diligently obey the Lord in the voting booth and rest in His ordained outcome. Because the Lord goes before us, rest in knowing “he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8). Regardless of the presidential result, God remains on his eternal throne. Rather than challenging God’s power, the political process provides the believer an opportunity to demonstrate trust in God by resting in his providence. Like a mirror, a Christian’s view of political elections reflects where we find our hope and rest. Remember, your greatest hope doesn’t come from a temporal, earthly political outcome, but from the eternal, heavenly victory of the risen King. No matter who wins in November, Christ’s followers will find comfort in knowing “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14).