French poet Victor Hugo is quoted as saying, “And when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."
If I were to choose a word to describe the recent election season, I’d choose the word laborious.
Angry tirades and scathing accusations have volleyed from one campaign to another like mortar fire during an armed conflict, and we the people have been wounded in the crossfire. We the church are weary, battle-scarred, and conflicted.
Hugo was right; we have accomplished our laborious task, and on election night we’ll go to sleep, possibly uncertain about who our next president, governor, representative will be. Or perhaps the vote will clearly and decisively declare one candidate a winner—but not the one we hoped for.
Regardless, we can go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
He is not only awake, He is seated on His throne, reigning over the affairs of this earth with wisdom and justice.
Ten Reasons and a Thousand More
You can trust God if the election doesn’t turn out as you hoped for these ten reasons and a thousand more:
1. God’s plans always prevail.
“I know that you [Lord] can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations (Ps. 33:11).
2. In obedience to God, we vote, but God ultimately appoints our leaders.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment (Rom. 13:1–2).
“The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men” (Dan. 4:17)
3. Every ounce of power our leaders possess has been given to them by God.
So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:10–11).
4. Regardless of their platforms, God will direct our leaders where He wills, for His purposes.
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will (Prov. 21:1).
5. God wants me to respect the authority of the office and pray for our leaders.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way (1 Tim. 2:1–2).
6. God, not man, is the sovereign Ruler over nations and kingdoms.
“O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you” (2 Chron. 20:6).
7. God’s kingdom stands above America and every nation of the earth. When our nations are shaken, and the foundations shift, Christ’s kingdom remains immovable.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe (Heb. 12:28).
8. God’s kingdom will not only withstand attacks from ungodly leaders, it will triumph.
From Cyrus, the Babylonian king of the exile, to the baby-killing Herod, and the Christian-killing Nero, Christianity has never been bested, because our King’s power is not from this world. The Church Christ birthed when He rose from the dead doesn’t depend on qualified human leaders for its success.
“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world” (John 18:36).
9. Leaders come and leaders go. Governments rise and fall. Only God, His Word, and people live forever—and we will live forever.
Our first allegiance is to Christ, and then to the God-inspired Word, the Bible. This is our charter, and it never changes.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore (Isa. 9:7).
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20).
10. Even “in exile,” Christians have a responsibility to the country in which we live.
When the Israelites went into exile and captivity in Babylon, God didn’t exempt them from service just because they were living under pagan rule. They couldn’t throw up their hands and disengage. He gave them an assignment. Their assignment is our assignment, too.
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jer. 29:7).
Regardless of whether the election turns out as you had hoped (or even if it does), you can trust that God is fully in control. He will use all things, even a leader we’re not sure we want, for our good and His glory. And, one day soon, we’ll exchange our voter registration card for a passport, one that will take us to a new country, a better country, a country where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Tuck that under your pillow, beloved. Rest well.