Now that the election has been projected, I'm sure it has left many of you feeling either discouraged and disheartened or, on the other hand, hopeful and empowered. This election was big, people were invested more than ever.
And now that it seems a decision has been made, I've seen so many people slump and grumble, seeming to lose their hope. And on the other side, I've seen so many people puff up their chests, excited that their future and their country's future is in better hands.
But through it all, I've been wrestling with this nagging feeling that something isn't right.
As important as the president is, that isn't where our hope is as Christians. And as much we don't want to lose our freedom as a Christian and the comfortable lives we've settled into, maybe that is exactly what God has for us.
Maybe in losing these comforts, we will begin living the life that we are called to as Christians.
Dangers of a Christian Culture
Living in a culture where Christianity is the norm has, in many ways, dulled the power of Christ at work in the church.
Matt Chandler talks about “Christendom” in this video and this is exactly what we have seen over the past decades in America. As Christian values were adopted as our society’s “norm”, Christianity lost a lot of its power in our society. It became a normal thing to go to church. It was just what people did.
And in that, Christians didn’t have to stand out. We didn’t have to fight for our faith because it was accepted and valued by many.
But comfort often leads to complacency.
And that is the danger of living in a primarily Christian culture that does not actually live a sacrificial life for Christ. Going to church and carrying around a Bible, attending Bible study and prayer groups, volunteering and giving money, these are not what make us Christians.
But surrendering our hearts and living our lives as Christ lived his is what God calls us to as Christians.
Are We Avoiding the Call to Suffer?
How many of you are with me in that you would try to avoid suffering at any cost? I mean we want to keep our comfortable lives, right? Sure, I suffer, but it's nothing compared to what we see elsewhere. And I wouldn’t want this for me or for the ones I love.
And yet, in this comfort, I forget the importance of suffering for Christ. I forget the joy of suffering for Christ.
We are called to suffer for Him. We are told that we will be BLESSED as we suffer for Him.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. -Matthew 5:11-12
It is my purpose to live for Christ, not for myself. And in my comfortable life, I forget this. I want things to go smoothly. I pray for God to ease any discomforts and to bring blessing to me and my family and friends.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. -Philippians 1:21
Paul follows this with a description of knowing life would be better in heaven, longing to be with Christ in heaven and yet knowing that on his purpose was to remain here on earth, to suffer for the sake of spreading the gospel.
I often lose this mindset in the midst of my everyday busyness. I get switched up in thinking that to live is comfort and to die is loss.
I’ve been faced with many circumstances in my life that have led me to reevaluate this mindset and to remember that this world is not my home and this life is not meant for selfish gain, but to live surrendered and sacrificially giving everything I have to the Lord.
A Christian’s Response to the Election
I’m not saying to forsake any comfort and blessing that you have. I think that we can live from a place of safety and security and still spread the gospel.
However, as times are changing, we have to be willing to stand firm in our faith and to give up our comforts for the sake of the gospel.
I pulled together some Scriptures to remind us of our calling as we move forward, no matter where our political stance is, no matter what laws are enacted, no matter what freedoms we have or we lose.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:10
Let us pray for a position of delight in our weaknesses and in our hardships. Let us pray for a mindset of joy as we face persecution.
Because God is at work in these things. God’s strength will shine powerfully through us when we are weak. His blessing will be abundant in hardship and persecution.
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. -2 Timothy 3:12
In this verse, Paul is talking to Timothy, reminding him of all the persecution and suffering he experienced for the sake of Christ. It is a reminder to us that living for Christ means that we will stand out from the world around us. We will be “hated” by those who do not know God.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. -John 15:18
This too reminds us that we stand with Christ in that we bring a different message to the world. Christ’s love will stand in contrast to much of what goes on around us. And as Christianity is accepted less and less in our nation, it will be harder to live out our faith and be accepted by our peers who do not know Christ.
BUT we can take comfort in knowing that Christ has walked this road before us and as this next verse reminds us, He has overcome it.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
A Reminder that God is Sovereign Over Our Leaders
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. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. -Romans 13:1-2
This verse powerfully reminds me that God has His hand in all things. He has a plan that is so much greater than what I can see.
A plan that is so much greater than the next 4 or even 8 years.
No matter where we stand politically, we must respect our authority as much as our faith allows. I believe this means that as long as what is in place is not directly unbiblical (i.e. wearing masks), it is our responsibility as Christians to be subject to this authority. And I think our mission will be so much stronger as we do.
Of course, I know this takes a lot of prayerful discernment, so allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you and guide you as you wrestle with this.
God is in control.
God is sovereign.
God has created you for a purpose and has good works prepared for you.
God will bless you as you stand for Him.
God will strengthen you when you feel weak.
God loves you and wants all to know Him.
Remember these truths no matter what is happening in our society and cling to the Word as you seek to continue to live for Christ and find hope and joy.
Here are a few posts that you may find relevant and encouraging on this topic: