Last night I was on the way home from a meeting at church with my oldest in the car with me who had spent the day at church to make use of the better internet for her virtual schooling. For the past few weeks, I’ve been making her listen to some of my podcasts in the car. Oftentimes we listen to the Bible, sometimes a church podcast, but for the past few weeks, we’ve been listening to a political podcast on the way home.
Knowing that she doesn’t really care for it, I jokingly said: “Are you excited to listen to today’s podcast?” She usually gives me some sarcasm back and says, “Mm-hmm.” Like her father, she’s not a person of many words, which probably surprises you since my posts are usually not super short.
Last night, she asked if we could not listen to it. I asked why. She was nervous and maybe a little worried about the election. I still started the podcast, but turned it off after a few seconds and turned on Christmas music. (Hey, I’m not perfect, but I do know that Christmas music is almost always the answer.)
Then I shared some of my pastoral wisdom with her. And I wanted to share it with you as well, if you’ll allow me. Feel free to stop reading if you’d rather not.
There’s never been a moment when God’s not been in control.
Right now, in major cities across the country, businesses are boarding up their doors and windows for fear of what’s going to happen tonight. The state of Oregon has taken over command of portland police and created a unified force in preparation for tonight and the nights to come.
If there was an accurate way to measure anxiety, we’d probably all be elevated, if not off the charts.
It doesn’t matter which side you’re voting for, right now nearly everyone is concerned about the outcome of the election.
I know, it sounds cliche. Trite even. But, we need to remember it.
There’s never been a moment when God’s not in control.
God is not human, that he should lie,Numbers 23:19
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?
Because we are imperfect people who make mistakes, change our minds and are radically inconsistent, we have a hard time understanding a God who does not change, who does change his mind and who always keeps his promises.
And for those who’s hope is in the Lord, we have a God who protects us and surrounds us like the mountains that surround Jerusalem. And his protection is both now and forever.
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,Psalm 125:2
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.
As I wrote last week, believers in Jesus Christ have a peace that cannot be understood. We are no longer at war with God, instead we are God’s children. We are on God’s team. We are on the side of victory.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.John 14:27
From the before the beginning of civilization until long after it ends, there’s never been a moment when God’s not in control. In Psalm 90:2 the psalmist writes: “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
God’s name is actually, I AM. In other words, “I am the God who always is.” There has never been a moment when God wasn’t. There will never be a moment where God isn’t. God always was, always is and always will be.
God says: “Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.” (Isa 43:10)
God is the only one who exists outside of the context we are confined to. He knows what we will never know. He sees what we could never see.
It’s hard to understand how God could be in control when the world seems so out of control, but that could also be seen as evidence that God’s plan is unfolding just as He said it would.
“Hold on a second, bub. HOw can you think the chaos of the world is evidence that God is in control?! That’s crazy!”
It’s actually not. Romans 1:18-32 make this pretty clear. God has made it clear to all humanity that He is God. From the beginning God has shown us who He is. There is enough evidence that we are without excuse. And yet, people have chosen to go their own way. We know about God but don’t honor him. We claim to be wise in our own eyes, but are fools. Instead of worship God who made us in His image we worship things made in our image.
Because of this, God let people go their own way. We exchanged the truth of God for a lie. So, God let us follow our evil desires. He let our useless, rebellious minds rule over us, leading ourselves to do evil things. To be wicked, greedy, mean in every way. To be people who murder, argue, cheat and are hard to get along with. People who gossip, say cruel things about others and hate God. We are proud, conceited, boastful and always thinking up new ways to do evil.
So, yes, even the chaos is proof that God is in control. Even though it seems like someone has turned the thermostat on society all the way up, then smashed it with a hammer, the truth is, only God has control over the thermostat.
Christians, Be Calm. Trust in the Lord.
No matter how many times we break our promises to God, God always keeps his promises. Joshua 21:45, “Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.”
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…Heb 10:23-24
So, Christians. Be Calm. Trust in the Lord. Our hope has never been in the government. If it is, it shouldn’t be. Every leader throughout History has been chosen by God: “there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1) 1 Peter 2 says that leaders are sent by God.
I don’t know what’s going to happen tonight and this week. I don’t know how things are going to go for the candidate you voted for. I don’t know how things are going to go down in your city or town. I don’t know how what happens today is going to affect our lives from this point forward.
I just don’t know.
But, I do know that God loves His children. I know that God never leaves us or abandons us. That God did not leave us as orphans but sent His Spirit to dwell in us. I know that God is not going to let chaos, destruction and evil go on forever, that there will be a day when all that is wrong will be made right, there is coming a day when there will no longer be crying, pain or heartache and that there is a day to come when God will restore His physical Kingdom on this earth and we will no longer be subject to human authorities.
I know that God has always been faithful. I know that God has never once broken a promise. I know that His ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts.
I know that, no matter what happens tonight, it’s not going to be surprise to God. God has never once been surprised by anything that has happened. He knows and sees it all.
And that God is there, with us in every situation. And that if God can calm the wind and the waves, then he can calm the worry and anxiety that is filling your heart and mind today. Have faith in God, not in the surrounding circumstances. God is bigger than it all. So, just as Jesus spoke these words to the winds and they died down, let Him speak them to your soul today to calm you, no matter what happens: