Friday, May 6, 2016

The Christian and the Political Process

The subtitle of my blog is that life can get you down, but God can bring you up. There are times I lose sight of that. There are times when life gets me down. There are times when it is difficult to see a way through a situation. I say this to say that I am, by no means, and expert at being kept up in the hope that God provides. I am not as well versed at staying in the center of God's peace as I would like to be, indeed as I need to be.

But with that disclaimer, I think we all need to take opportunities to encourage one another to hope in God. To use prayer, giving of thanks, and letting our requests be made known unto God. This is the biblical path to God's peace guarding our hearts. The path to peace isn't a trouble free way. The path to peace isn't a rearranging of our situation or our circumstances. The path to peace lies in resting in God.

I have felt that this past week and a half as we have gone without sleep, welcomed a family member into out home, and learned that he will need open heart surgery before he is a year old. At times, I have felt like I must have disconnected myself from my life and been treating it like someone else's. You know, very objective. But I have let it sink in. I know that it is my son who will be facing this. I know Jen and I will be walking down the road that God stretches before us. It feels weird, and God's promise is that it would be. (You know, the passing all understanding part in Philippians 4)

But it seems like many Christians are losing their mind over the political process in our nation. Like the admonition in Philippians 4 only applies to some circumstances. But the political process isn't exempt from:

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7
God's peace and God's promises apply to politics as well. We need to remember that it applies every time. Every time the candidate I support gets beaten in a primary or election. Every time the 'wrong' party or 'wrong' candidate gains power. Every time a law I disagree with goes through. Every time a biblical principal gets bad press. Every time the world makes it harder to live for God. Every time I struggle to understand how God could allow something to happen. God's peace applies in all of these areas and at all of these times.
So please, when you want to complain about how things are going in politics (or other areas), you need to stop and ask a few questions.
1) Have I let God know about my request with thanksgiving?
2) Am I content to accept the answer God gives? (Even if it is not what I requested)
3) Am I free from worry in this area of my life?
4) Have I gotten to the place where I feel God's peace?
Because the truth is, if you haven't done these things, you haven't used the tools that are available to you. And if you have done these things, you won't want to complain. And then, we will be able to glorify God in every circumstance, the way God intends us too.
Don't get stuck looking down. Keep looking up!