48% of Americans woke up this morning disappointed in last night’s election results. It is certainly ok to be disappointed, but I did notice that the sun rose right on schedule and will most likely show up tomorrow as well. I was hoping for a different outcome on several elections and ballot issues, and I am disappointed. However, I am not in despair. Sitting in my office, I opened my bible and read the passage that Paul wrote to the church of Corinth. It is a good reminder to me this morning.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT
Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And everything you do must be done with love.
Be on guard.
We must be on guard against anger, criticism and anything that could corrupt our hearts. There will be many voices in the next few days predicting gloom and despair. Proverbs 18:21 says there is life and death in the power of our tongues. As followers of Christ, we are called to speak life to our country. We are not called to predict its death. I say our country will be blessed and continue to be a beacon of light to the rest of the world. I believe our country will turn its heart to Christ and great numbers of people will discover God’s grace.
Stand true to what you believe.
I have principles that govern my life and my family. I decided long ago that I would not negotiate with anyone on these principles. The phrase “stand firm” is found eight times in the New Testament because first century believers knew firsthand the opposition and death they faced for believing in Jesus. I have finally concluded that not everyone will love or even respect me for what I believe. Still, I will stand true to what I believe. I believe that Jesus is the son of God who came to the earth and died for my sins and then was resurrected. I believe in the authority and truth of Scripture. I believe love is more powerful than hate and I believe God is stronger than my enemies. I believe the local church is the hope of the world and that my marriage to Pam is for a lifetime. None of these things are negotiable to me.
Courage happens when faith replaces fear and hope replaces despair. I am not courageous because I believe so much in myself. I am courageous because of my dad in heaven. I remember as a little boy how protected and safe I felt when my dad was near me. The schoolyard bullies did not seem so intimidating and the night did seem so dark when he was around. Today, my God is near me and I feel safe. Therefore, I am courageous.
God does not have a problem with strong Christians. He actually prefers them. Weak and passive believers have rarely made a difference in the culture. Our world needs us to be strong. We should share our views in the public square. We should certainly take a stand on moral issues, especially to protect the unborn, to defend the widows and orphans and to help the poor. Of course, we are strongest when we give God control of our lives. When we are weak, then He is strong in us and through us.
Everything you do must be done with love.
God loves strong believers, but has zero tolerance for mean ones. “Everything” means “everything”. The world is watching us right now to see if we will attack. Instead, let’s choose to serve humanity, not curse them. Love wins every time. I am convinced that grace and kindness makes up the mortar that builds and sustains the Kingdom of God on the earth. Loving God and loving our neighbors is still the sum of all the law and the greatest of all commandments.
God bless our country and God bless our new president. I pray the Holy Spirit would guide and direct him every day as he tackles the issues that face our country.