Church, Your Hope Is Not In The Election.

I can’t stand election season. The smear campaigns, the empty promises, the arguments that erupt on social media, and the division that inevitably follows it all. Each election cycle seems to drive a wedge further between us, making it more and more difficult to navigate.

As a pastor during the past several elections, I’ve become increasingly saddened over how Christians respond to it all. By and large, the Church in America has bought into the lies and empty promises of their chosen political party. Fear and hatred are more common than joy and love.

To be clear, I’m not saying that Christians shouldn’t have their political convictions. And I’m certainly not saying that Christians shouldn’t vote. What I’m concerned about is that Christians are placing their hope in their political party and they get their identity from their political ideology.

Our Hope Is Not In The Election

The Church has it backward today, Christians are often known more for their political affiliation and not their love for one another. I see a lot of Christians worrying way too much about the future of this country and not enough about the Kingdom of God. Christians often spend more time trying to convince others of their political views and next to no time telling them about Jesus.

This is the opposite of what Jesus told us to do. He expects his followers to be known for their love (John 13:35). He told us we are to prioritize loving God and serving our neighbor (Matthew 22:26-30). And he gave us are marching orders to advance his Kingdom, not an earthly one (Matthew 28:16-20).

Again, don’t misquote me, caring about our country or voting is not bad. But we should never let our political opinions and convictions override what Jesus told us to do. Jesus is more important than the results of this election or the prospering of our country.

For Christians, this election will have no ultimate or lasting impact on us. Our hope is not found in the next president, the next social program, the next law, or anything else the government can do. Our hope is found in Christ alone. Period.  

If you place your hope in your political party, the next president, or any other ideological belief you will be let down. They can never deliver what they promise.

Even if we get the best president who accomplishes everything they promised, they still won’t be able to address the root cause of the problems we are facing. Our heart and sin are the real problems plaguing this country and the rest of the world. And no politician, no law, no government can ever fix that.

It’s not wrong to desire change for this country. It’s not wrong to vote for the person you feel is best for our country. However, we are putting too much hope in social change and not enough hope in Jesus. Real change, life change, comes from Jesus alone.

Don’t miss this. The president will never change the followers of Jesus’ mission. Our role on this earth stays the same, regardless of what the government does. How we live might change and consequences for following Jesus could stack up. But at the end of the day, no one but Jesus has the power to make any impactful change in our lives.

Whatever happens this year you can still live with peace, find joy, and have hope. You don’t need to succumb to the fear that the sky is falling. It’s not. God is still on the throne and all his promises are true. Could this country go down the drain? Maybe, I don’t know. But I do know that God’s Kingdom will remain and all who trust him will be by his side.

Don’t place your hope in politics, it will only let you down. Instead, place your hope in the one who sits on the throne.

Navigating This Election Season

I want to end by looking at three ways we can navigate this election season

1. Pray For Our Leaders… Even The Ones You Hate.

It would be a good practice for Christians to devote time to regularly pray for the leaders of our country. Each of them is created in the image of God and loved by him. Therefore we should pray for them.

Make it a habit this year to pray for the leaders of our country. Pray that they would make God-honoring decisions and that they would come to know the love that God has for them.

2. Don’t Slander Those You Disagree With

It’s hard to serve our neighbors when we are constantly slandering them. It’s hard to be known for love when we bash those who vote differently. Don’t sacrifice your God-given mission so that you can make a political stand. Prioritize what is eternal rather than focusing on what is temporary.

Again, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t care about our country or hold convictions about what direction is best. What it means is that we shouldn’t let those political beliefs drive wedges between those who view things differently. Jesus is more important than your political freedoms. Love the people around you, even those you disagree with.

3. Keep Your Eyes On Jesus.

God has promised you peace and joy if you keep your eyes on him. The reality is we will all be tempted to take our eyes off him and focus on something around us. This robs us of peace and joy and keeps us from the life that God has for us.

Commit this year to regularly reminding yourself of who Jesus is and what he has done for you. Don’t fall trap to the distractions and don’t succumb to the fear. Live in the peace and joy that God has for you.

Politics will never save the world; that’s what Jesus did on the cross. We have the privilege to vote for our convictions in this country. But we shouldn’t let that deter our hope in Jesus.

This might rub some of you the wrong way. And that’s fine. But ask yourself this. Where do your true priorities lie? God or country? Where does your hope come from? God or the next president? We all need to wrestle with those questions. We all need to check our hearts regularly to see where our hope is coming from. Because I know one thing, hope placed in anything or anyone on this earth will only let us down.

Jeffery Curtis Poor
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