Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Who's In Charge Here?

I recently had a friend express, “I am so scared. I've seen a lot of elections, but none have been like this. . . . These people are so evil . . . fraudulent voting, cover-ups, scandal after scandal . . . Can you give me some kind of advice to get passed this anxiety and emptiness I'm feeling since this election? 

Certainly, my friend isn’t alone. Many, many folks share her angst. What should the Christian do in times such as these? 

The words of C. S. Lewis come immediately to mind: “We must be continually reminded of what we believe.” We must remind ourselves of Christian truth because quite often reality fails to meet our expectations. And then it’s “gut check” time. 

To remind ourselves of what we believe, we, of course, turn to scripture; not Fox News or CNN. Let’s begin with this question: Who’s in charge around here?  

The Bible couldn’t be more clear. God, not man, is in control. God sovereignly rules over the affairs of men. 

1Chronicles 29:11, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. 

Daniel 2:21b; 4:25b, 34b-35, “He removes kings and raises up kings . . . the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. . . . His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” 

Isaiah 40:15,17, “Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, And are counted as the small dust on the scales; Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless. 

Thus, we are reminded of the greatness of God. Who’s the boss? Not the President of the United States. Not “we the people.” No, this nation—and all nations—are “under God.” 

To be reminded of God’s sovereignty is comforting, but not entirely comforting. For God in His providence not only blesses, but also curses or judges nations. Thus, it is not without reason that Thomas Jefferson said,  

Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever. . .

Indeed, there is an edge to the sovereignty of God. It seems to me that America is getting a taste of God’s judgment; and it is, without question, wholly deserved. We are a wicked nation. When we read the Bible we are reminded that God’s judgment and our wickedness are cause for great mourning. 

And yet, when we read the Bible we are reminded of our great hope. Our hope is not in political parties or nation-states. Our hope isn’t in man at all, it’s in God. 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Cor. 4:16-18) 

Because our hope rests in God and Christ we are never faced with a hopeless situation. There is no such thing as “hopelessness” for the people of God. Are there dark days ahead for America; perhaps even years and years? Maybe so.  

But Christ is the Lord of history and the future belongs to Him, not to His enemies. So, let us rest in God and work with all our might to further His kingdom—knowing that His success is certain.  

As we labor with our hands may this prayer be on our lips:  

I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You;
Let the wicked be ashamed;
Let them be silent in the grave.
(Psalm 31:14-17)

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