Euphoria and Despair, Elation and Anger, Hope and Fear
True heartfelt emotions are hard to deny. Real people feel real feelings regardless of the source or the rationale for them. Now, that said, there is an insidious tactic of the enemy that seeks to create false narratives, particularly in this current, social political climate, to hold people captive to their feelings without reason or understanding. Fear is one of his most popular weapons and he will use it on whomever he can.
But, we must take a step back and get God’s perspective on all that is going on before we get caught up in the noise of reaction based on feelings alone.
We who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are His Ambassadors to the world. This is a daunting responsibility no doubt, but one by His Spirit we are well equipped to perform. When we accepted Jesus as our Savior and confessed Him as Lord, believing in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead we laid down all allegiances to all other identities that define us.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
With our confession of faith, in that transformational moment, we laid down race, nationality, gender, economic and social status and allegiance to all other gods, including and especially the god of self. We made all these things subordinate to our identity in Jesus Christ. We should have, but did we…really?
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The world on the other hand is living in one of the most hedonistic, self-centered, self-indulgent, permissive, prurient, vulgar, vile and degenerate social climates in history, second only to the days of Noah before the flood when there was total anarchy. Everyone was a law unto himself, and God had no place among them accept for one man and his family.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” Genesis 6:5-13
The ways of man can touch the heart of God and He can be grieved by our actions and our thoughts. Indeed the culmination of all things and the coming of the new Heaven and the new Earth will be the repudiation of all the sins of man for all time.
Those without God are lost to their passions, their hatreds, their bigotries, their pride, their arrogance and dismissiveness of others; their selfishness and greed, their violence and their destructive natures. They are hopeless, until they turn to Jesus and hinge their lives to Him, to His Word and to His love.
“…remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:12 [ESV]
The unbeliever identifies readily and easily with all that is broken in the world and themselves because they are without God. And so were we all until Jesus came and we heard the Good News, the Gospel of life, of forgiveness, of mercy and grace, of love and hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ and we believed and were saved.
And with that salvation came a hope and confidence in the future, an assurance of provision, blessing, and peace now from our Father, God regardless of the social, political, economic and spiritual condition of the world around us.
We no longer look to kings and princes to be our providers. We do not look to the works of our hands to save us or to keep us alive. We trust in God. We have faith in God. We look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith while we walk out our calling in this life to be led by the Holy Spirit and to follow Jesus, taking up our cross daily, being transformed daily by the renewing of our minds, changing our thinking.
But those who do not know our God are desperate and fearful because they have been led to believe that the only hope they have is in this world and what man can give them.
Those who are so emotionally distraught and fearful over the recent election show that they either do not know God or that they have no trust in Him when He says, I will never leave you or forsake. I am with you always and whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give it you.
They don’t know God, Who said, fear not little flock for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. They do not know Jesus, Who said, I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly. They do not know that those who are born of the spirit do not entangle themselves with the stuff of this world to identify with it or be entangled in its caprice and uncertainty.
The Scriptures warn us to guard our hearts, to keep our hearts with all diligence, to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, to discern the times we are living in and not be deceived by the cunning craftiness of men, to be sober and vigilant, because our adversary, the devil is going around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
Not everything you see in the media is true. Even the media images that are being presented daily, many are staged for effect. Not every story is factual or presented without a hidden agenda. So then, we must be discerning. We must seek God for the truth, and then act according to His commandment to be motivated by love in all that we do, not in strife and debate but in kindness and a gentle spirit that seeks to heal more than to win the argument.
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24-26
Now, this is the resistance we face. I would venture to say that most of the people protesting particularly those doing harm to others and destroying property and vandalizing businesses and threatening more violence are not people legitimately grieving or fearful for their future. They are anarchists, paid to incite violence and foster fear and intimidation. They should be dealt with by the law and given the punishment they deserve and be compelled to restore the property of those they have attacked so wantonly.
For those who are legitimately fearful, their fear is based largely on the rhetoric and hyper Dooms Day messages of the ones who seek to keep them in bondage to fear in order to posture themselves as their saviors. This too is a common work of the enemy.
It is telling to note that the “protests” and all the reports of all the emotional “grieving” following the outcome of the election has all been predicated on what people are “fearing” might happen. In truth and in fact, nothing has happened to justify such fear. Nothing has changed in the lives of any of those “protesting.” Yet, their emotions are running wild and the anarchists have stepped in to take advantage of the moment to spread mayhem and fear.
What then is to be our response to them?
The counter reaction to fear is love. There is no fear in love. Where love is perfected there is no room for fear.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
Now this is not a touchy feely emotionally driven love that is more like and based on feelings rather than on the rational deliberate choice of agreeing with the commandments of God, saying and doing the things that please Him. The key hallmark of love is first and foremost patience and kindness.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up…” 1 Corinthians 13:4
Measure that against the actions of the so-called “protestors.” What is their motivation? Now measure that against your thoughts and reactions to them. Are your words and feelings motivated by love? For the believer, love is not an option it is a commandment. We are to love God, love our neighbor, love our enemies.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5
“And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…” Luke 6:27
This is what God expects from His people, from those who are bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, those who are called by His name, Christians, sons and daughters of God. Whether your candidate won or lost you have a commandment from God to put your trust for the future in Him not in men, to reject fear and intimidation no matter how threatening the source. God is greater and greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
This is especially important for young Christians, that they learn and adopt the faith lessons of Moses and the Red Sea, of Elijah and the prophets of Baal, Mordecai and Haman, of David and Goliath, of Jesus and the devil in the wilderness, of Jesus and the Pharisees, of Jesus and those in the Synagogue, of Jesus and death, hell and the grave. They all overcame by faith and love. Love of God and faith in His Word.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:1-3
Not everyone will agree with you when you speak the truth. They did not agree with Jesus either, but He spoke the truth to them, despite their rejections. So, we must arm ourselves likewise.
All things will be revealed in their time and God’s purposes and plans will be made clear to His people who seek Him. There was probably more prayer by Christians for this election than any other in history. Now let there also be among the people of God more prayer for this administration and our nation than any other time in our history.