The Morning After

[This appeared first at LifeChurchNC.com]

November 9, 2016

…the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes…

Daniel 4:17, 25, 32; 5:21 NIV

He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. 

Daniel 2:21 NLT 

God is still God.

God is still good.

God is still Sovereign, and…

God is still on His throne.

These are words that Molly wanted to make sure were embedded in the minds and on the hearts of our children this morning before they stepped into a day where new realities now begin to settle-in in light of the results from last night’s elections.

While many are relieved that the election is finally over so that ‘we can now just get on with things,’ the wake of the election has also opened festering wounds for many others.  Many started the day Wednesday shocked by the outcome of what has been called “the most stunning political upset in American history.” I admit that I am certainly among those who was caught off guard by the results, especially the Presidential election.

Regardless of how you voted yesterday,

regardless of whether you were pleased or disappointed with the outcomes,

regardless of your sentiments going forward…

...it is critically important for God’s people to be aware that there are many who find themselves deeply disturbed, concerned, angry and hopeless in the wake of this election.  It is obvious by voting demographics that we are living in one of the most divided eras in our country in modern history, with black and white voters alone seeming to be at polar opposite ends of the spectrum.  This reality, in my opinion, is incredibly unsettling and disturbing.

Today, there remains significant work to do to bring healing to both our community and our nation.  There is much in the way of reconciliation that we must continue to lean into and work for.  There is the hope for a peace that surpasses all understanding that is needed more than ever.  But it’s important to remember that the none of these things are contingent on our hope (or lack thereof) in government.

Peace, healing and reconciliation remain the mission of the Church regardless of the things taking place in the world around us.

This morning, Hillary Clinton gave her first public remarks since the results of last night’s election became clear.  In defeat, Secretary Clinton was undoubtedly eloquent, dignified, gracious and professional while advocating her supporters to respectfully accept the results and to work for the success of our country and the new President-elect, Donald Trump.  Toward the end of her speech, she challenged her audience to keep fighting for what is right, to be cooperative, and to do so out of their love for country.  She finished her speech quoting from the words found in Galatians 6:9:

Let us not become weary in doing good…

Without being political myself here, I do not mind saying that I was moved and inspired by her challenge.

While the definition of good can certainly be interpreted differently from person to person, especially between followers of Jesus and those who are non-believers, for the believer, good clearly refers to our comprehensive work of advancing the Kingdom of God through the proclamation of the Good News in both word and deed.  The Apostle Paul puts this work in perspective in Ephesians 5:15-16:

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 

On days like today, I am especially thankful that our hope rests not in governments, politics and human leaders, all of whom can be so uncertain and inevitably disappointing.  Rather, our hope rests solely in the truth and certainty of our Sovereign God.

As we continue our good work to bring hope, healing and reconciliation to humanity through the work of the Gospel, let’s certainly do so without growing weary, but by walking in the confidence that although human events can at times catch us off guard, nothing catches our God off-guard.  He is Sovereign.  He is still in control.  And He has already graciously gone ahead of each of us to provide the hope and healing that is needed most through the Cross.

Today, it’s important that our hearts remain broken in light of the condition of a world that breaks the heart of our God.  As followers of Jesus, let’s keep our hearts in-tune and sensitive to the disappointment, anger and concern that is being experienced by so many as we grapple with and continue to adjust to the realities of our world.  And let us do so while continuing to point to a greater hope that can and will bring healing and reconciliation to the circumstances and brokenness in our world that can leave many feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.

I come back to the quote I shared last weekend by Dr. Jim Denison:

Don’t let politics divide you from your fellow believers. What unites us is far more important than what separates us. We are Christians before we are Americans, Republicans, Democrats, or independents. The world will know we follow Jesus not by how we vote but by how we love.

As people of the Cross, let’s walk in a different kind of victory today, a victory that proclaims to our own hearts and to the world around us that…

God is still God, and God is still good.

Let’s continue to be about our work which includes bringing heaven to earth.  As we do so, let’s be especially mindful of the words found in 1 Timothy 2:1-5 in the coming days:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus…

 

(1) quoted from ABC News commentator George Stephanopoulos

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