Depending on where you stand politically these days, you are either (1) enraged that billionaire Donald Trump could be our next president; (2) freaking out that former First Lady Hillary Clinton might return to the White House; or (3) dismayed that after such a divisive campaign season, we are stuck with Trump and Clinton as our only choices in November.
I'm in the third category—and so are many other Christians who find it difficult to fit in a Republican or Democratic straitjacket. I'm pro-life but I'm also pro-immigrant. I'm pro-business and against high taxes because I believe heavy-handed government control of the economy hurts rich and poor alike. I'm an avid proponent of equality for women, but I could have suggested more honest and capable women than Mrs. Clinton to become the first female U.S. president.
But it is what it is. These are our choices. For me it's like one of those nightmares where you must choose to die by guillotine or gas chamber. Either way, it's horrifying. I keep wishing we could hit a reset button and start the whole campaign season over with new candidates. But that's not going to happen.
Over the past two weeks, it has also become more obvious that, barring some unexpected discovery of hacked e-mails, Mrs. Clinton will win in November. This is not because of anything she did but because, since the Republican convention, Mr. Trump's campaign unraveled every time he opened his mouth.
His poll numbers fell through the floor last week after he blasted the Muslim-American parents of an Army captain who was killed in Iraq. His open hostility toward a decorated war veteran caused even the staunchest Republicans to pull their support from the man who was supposed to "make America great again."
The Christian community is now deeply divided by this election. My African-American and Hispanic friends could never support Mr. Trump because of comments he made that sound racist—including his infamous plan to build a wall on the Mexican border and his original (and now modified) promise to ban Muslims from the country.
At the same time, many of my friends believe if Mrs. Clinton wins, she and her ultra-liberal cronies will launch a systematic program to confiscate all guns, shut down churches and force all American children to deny their gender. (That may be just a loony conspiracy theory, but it's no secret that Mrs. Clinton has done little to appeal to evangelical voters or to qualm their fears. It's as if she doesn't want our votes.)
I've gone through a range of emotions about this election—from outrage to anxiety to hands-up-in-the-air exasperation. But I'm over it now. I've calmed down. I'm not worried.
I found the peace I was looking for last month in Bolivia, of all places.
I was speaking at Ekklesia Church, one of the largest evangelical congregations in the city of La Paz. There were more than 1,200 people jammed into that auditorium on a Sunday morning, and it was the 7 a.m. service! And at the end of my message, several dozen people came to the altar to receive Jesus. All I could think was, nobody would come to church at 7 a.m. in the United States!
And yet this happened in Bolivia, a country ruled since 2006 by Evo Morales, a socialist whose policies resemble those of the late Hugo Chávez, dictator of Venezuela. In spite of Morales' leftist policies and his open disdain for Christianity (he has at times invited native spiritualists to sacrifice llamas outside his government offices) the church of Jesus Christ continues to thrive in Bolivia.
Think about it. The gospel is spreading around the world today despite civil wars, Islamic terrorism, leftwing conspiracies, rightwing conspiracies and evil tyrants. That's because regardless of who is in power at any given moment, our God is on His throne in heaven. We can rest in His sovereignty.
Perhaps you need to reflect on the fact that God is ultimately in charge of our nation and its rulers. Psalm 115:3 says: "But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases." When things don't go the way we think they should, we can go to sleep at night and leave our concerns in His hands. We can trust that He is at work even when it seems His enemies are winning.
Isaiah 40:23 says of God: "He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth meaningless." No candidate or political party makes God nervous. He is not wringing His hands. His sovereign plan will be accomplished in His time, and no man, woman or army can stop Him.
Lamentations 5:19 says: "You, O Lord, remain forever; Your throne endures from generation to generation." God sees the beginning and the end. His perspective is not limited like ours. He is God. And we are not!
Don't get discouraged or fearful. Instead, trust the One who rules from heaven. Rather than worrying, take your concerns to His eternal throne and pray that He will unleash a spiritual revival in the United States that will fill our churches once again—even at 7 a.m.! That miracle can happen regardless of who occupies the White House.
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, he has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeeGrady or go to his website, themordecaiproject.org.
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