Assessing My Heart the Morning after an American Election

Assessing My Heart the Morning after an American Election

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There are two large groups of people in America today. They are the winners and the losers. The happy and the sad. The glad and the mad. The hopeful and the fearful. Which one are you on this morning (week) after an American election? What does the state of your heart reveal about your faith? Regardless of our camp, there is probably work to do in our hearts. For the victorious, the temptation is smugness and high-fives that looks down on the losers. For the losers, the temptation could be despair and anger. The election is the heat in our lives that reveals the pre-existing condition of our hearts.

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Living in Fallen Places

Regardless of your group, the good Lord has a word for you: you must build your hope on nothing less than Jesus Christ and His righteousness. The winners and losers need hearts guarded by this transcendent truth. Nobody secured their victory through the voting process. No election will accomplish what we ultimately need. Sustained happiness does not come through political agendas or humanistic worldviews (Deuteronomy 33:29). Our best and worst politicians have collectively failed to bring what Americans need. It is not their job because we are not a theocracy, nor should we be.

Poverty, unemployment, sickness, and death will always be undefeated in a fallen world (Genesis 3:16-19). The following two, four, or six years will be similar. Only when our true Ruler returns to reverse the curse will things be great again. Placing hope in a party or person is like putting a band-aid on a cancer patient. It is fascinating and faith-filling to observe how Jesus lived in and responded to the political system of His day. Though He disagreed with that fallen political system, He lived confidently within the constraints of that system.

We have never faced His challenges—not to that degree. They had no qualms about putting innocent adults to death on a cross. We’re heading that way, though we’re not there yet. We kill our babies and give consent to killing older adults. You can sense the squeeze as the gap between life and death shrinks. Jesus lived in a political world where the right to life was more tenuous. Despite this, He knew who He was and what His Father had called Him to do. His goal was singular, which was not to make Israel great again. You could summarize His three-plank platform with three verses.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).

Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).

I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose (Luke 4:43).

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Live the Purpose

What a great purpose for life: making people great again by introducing them to the transformative gospel. Any other purpose for your life will not bring you higher satisfaction. Driving stakes deep in this fallen clay while living in such a way to take in the undeniable fruitlessness that this world offers leads to despair. See Proverbs 14:12, Jeremiah 2:13, John 4:14, and Hebrews 11:9.

They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19).

The real test for all of us during this election cycle is to assess where we place our hope. This five-question test below is comparative—are you more of this or that? What are the things that control our thoughts? Here are a few ways to see where you are with the Lord and fellow image-bearers.

  • Are you more critical or thankful?
  • Are you more fearful or hopeful?
  • Are you more frustrated or trusting?
  • Are you more regretful or confident?
  • Are you more of an alienator or reconciler?

Your Little Light

Jesus displayed His most profound works when the times were darkest. Diamonds are like that. The jeweler places them on a black velvet backdrop to make them more appealing to the customer. Similar to being a light, our goal is to take that little light of ours and let it shine, shine, shine. We are the diamonds; the world is our customer. During seasons of unrest and discouragement, God’s grace is the perfect antidote to impact culture. Love comes from death (John 12:24). Healing comes from brokenness.

In God’s economy, the darker the sin, the brighter His grace. The death of Christ was not the end of hope but the portal through which we can receive everlasting life. I voted though I’m not a follower of any politician or party. I follow King Jesus because of the grace of God, and He is ruling just as much today as He was last week (Hebrews 13:8). Nothing of transcendent consequence has changed for the Christian. Jesus was Lord yesterday, He will be Lord tomorrow, and He will reign over all our lives through eternity.

Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay (Matthew 28:5-6).

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Let This Discourage

There is only one reason to be discouraged today. If Christ is not the Lord of your life, your life is futile (Ephesians 4:17). Suppose your candidate did not win. The winner is a temporary placeholder fulfilling the purposes of God. There will be others to follow the last group, and then Christ will return to make all things great again.

Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:31-33).

Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God’s own choosing?
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus,
it is he; Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Call to Action

  1. How are you doing today? Has anything adverse shaken your soul more than it should? If so, what was that thing, what did you want, and what must you do to change yourself?
  2. How do you think, talk, and act toward those not on your side? I’m speaking of politics, churches, organizations, demographics, and any other category where there is the potential to divide, compare, and judge.
  3. What is something you can do to reconcile with those who are not like you? How can your little light shine so that it has an impact in dark places that would remain that way if you don’t light them up?

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