United States (MNN) — Today is the day. The presidential election — one of the most weighty we’ve seen — is almost over. And now that you may have cast your ballot, it’s time to wring those hands in apprehension.
But let’s pause for a second. Is it ever acceptable for a Christian to be anxious? And if the candidate we voted for doesn’t get elected, is it okay for us to despair?
Carl Moeller of Biblica describes what a godly response looks like after the results are in.
Step one: Self-assessment
There’s no denying this was a difficult election. That’s an understatement. Given the choices, every Christian taking their faith seriously has faced a moral dilemma.
That’s because the top candidates are, as Moeller puts it, morally challenged on many levels.
He says, “The character qualities of a godly person are very, very different than the character qualities we see in our politicians today, especially the main presidential candidates.”
But our future, even on this earth, is not hopeless. It all begins with perspective. Start by asking yourself where you’re at this moment.
“One of the most important factors in any election season is: what are God’s people turning to for security and assurance? I can tell you this, if you turn to your Facebook feed, you’re not going to get confident assurance about the future.”
But, he continues, “I’m convinced the Bible presents to us a pattern for how we can actually move forward in this very confusing and difficult season.”
Moeller says God’s Word fits our needs no matter the situation. It helps us remember this world is not our home. And now we come to the second step of a godly response.
Step 2: Remember
So, let’s take a look at Scripture. Moeller points out Romans 13:1 which says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (ESV)
This is probably not first time this past year that someone has brought this verse to mind. But are you taking it to heart?
“The way in which we respond to authority and those in power, first of all, has to be seen through the fact that God is sovereign. He’s in charge,” Moeller says.
So before we despair that our party has not been elected, we need to pause and remember God is not constrained by human mechanisms. Nor is His power portrayed through the strength of mankind. When we forget this, we worry.
“God is not moved off His throne one bit in relation to the chaos we find ourselves. And yet, because we’ve invested so much in the political process and put our hope and our trust in that process, we frankly find ourselves very nervous and very scared about the future because the future looks quite bleak when we look at the candidates we have.”
Step 3: Pray
Voting is open until late this evening. After that, it’s over. So when we wake up tomorrow with a new president elected, what can we do?
Consider this. Moeller says don’t look to social media. Don’t turn on the television, and don’t even celebrate if your candidate has won.
Pray for those who have been elected, pray for those in power. Pray in faith, not fear. God can do so much to change our perspective while we engage in conversation with Him.
Step 4: Live it out
If we are serious about remembering God’s truth through Scripture and praying, this next part becomes possible. In a culture that is increasingly counter to the Gospel, we can follow Jesus.
“I think this is a wake-up call to the Christian Church, regardless, again, whoever wins this election, for us to live more like Jesus Christ in a culture that is obviously not embracing the Christian message as we do, as believers.”
If we don’t trust the Bible to speak to our needs, we won’t read it. When we don’t read it, we lose perspective and become ineffective.
Moeller believes by reestablishing our Biblical worldview, we’ll trust the Holy Spirit to work through us to redeem our culture. Clearly it’s not happening through the political process.
“The Bible is, more than ever, our road-map through the confusing, conflicting times. We don’t have to go very far — we can go to the New Testament and look at the first-century believers who lived in a culture where they literally were being arrested and thrown into prison simply for preaching the Gospel. So if they can live their life joyfully before Jesus and before a watching world, we certainly can.”
In other words, we can successfully be the salt and light in a decaying and darkening world. And that means we still have a platform from which to share the Gospel.
“I believe the confident assurance God’s Word gives us — to walk humbly, to love mercy, and to do justice around us while a world that may be hostile to Christianity thinks we’re irrelevant — I think it will be, ultimately, the salvation of those we love around us and we care for, and a redemption of our culture.”