It has been said that more people are anxious and emotionally distraught over this year’s Presidential election than any other time in recent history. The candidates themselves tend to make people nervous. It is hard to know what to expect. By tonight America will have elected its 45th President, and it will either be President Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump. Either way there probably is a considerable amount of concern in your heart and soul about what the future holds for our country. Whether your candidate wins or loses, here is what you should know—God is still on His throne. The Bible makes it clear that His throne is set in heaven and nothing that happens here impacts or shakes God. His reign is eternal, and He has a plan that will be accomplished!
Philippians 4:4-7 is a great reminder that our focus needs to be on Heaven and God rather than on who wins or loses the Presidency. When are we to rejoice in the Lord? Should we rejoice in the Lord when our candidate wins? What about rejoicing in the Lord when you are feeling good about the future? Maybe you should rejoice in the Lord when everything is going your way. No! The passage is clear: Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS! (v. 4)
I must remind you of where Paul was when he wrote these instructions to the church at Philippi. He wasn’t taking a tropical vacation. He wasn’t living the high life and having the best that life had to offer. No, just the opposite. Paul was sitting in a Roman prison when he told the church to “Rejoice in the Lord alway and again I say rejoice.” Rejoice in the Lord no matter what happens with this election. “Rejoice in the Lord always” even if your world is shaky, and it seems to be falling apart.
The prophet Habakkuk was anxious because of what was going on his world. He was troubled because of God’s revelation about His coming judgment of Israel. As a result, he went into his prayer closet, and God met with him. This is what he stated: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
What does Philippians 4:5 mean? The word “moderation” means a sweet reasonableness. People should see that we, as the people of God, are reasonable; that we aren’t always insisting on having our way. Sometimes we need to give up ground in order to maintain unity and blessing in the place where God has put us. That doesn’t mean we are to overlook sin or do something our conviction wouldn’t allow, but it does mean that when the world looks at us, they ought to see people that are at peace and under control. Remember the Lord is at Hand. He is watching and knows. Beyond that, the world is watching us too, and they know.
According to verses 6-7, if you find yourself troubled (“careful” or full of care) because of what is going on in your life or in the world, you are to give that over to prayer and supplication. When we truly give it over, the God of peace will step into our hearts and give us peace.
Should I care about who is in the White House or who represents me in the halls of Congress? Yes! What should I do if it doesn’t turn out the way I want it to? I am to “rejoice in the Lord.” I am to let my sweet reasonableness be seen. And I am to take my anxiety to the Lord in prayer. That will keep me focused and stable in an unstable world!