When It Seems The Whole World Is At Stake

Nov 7, 2016

Whew. It’s a big week. It seems the world holds its collective breath while watching the United States of America. I’ve seen 12 presidential election cycles in my lifetime, most of which I remember. But none seemed to carried the weight and implications of this one.

The tension is palpable. The anxiety rising. I see friend after friend withdrawing from social media because the angst is intolerable. And I see friend after friend sharing post after post in an almost frantic frenzy to sway the outcome. Everywhere I go—the coffee shop, grocery store, my own kitchen table—the conversation always circles back to the most pressing topic.

Who will our next leader be?

These are important conversations. And, in my opinion, one of the best gifts of this pivotal political season. People are talking. We’re discussing and wrestling and disagreeing and thinking. The unimaginable nature of this election has, finally, awakened us. We’re paying attention, revisiting what matters, and reevaluating our convictions. This is what we should’ve done years ago. At long last, the tension of this moment has finally awakened us enough to care.

This, of course, has caused no small amount of conflict. In fear, some have turned to hostility and hate. Like a cornered animal afraid for its life, some have become offensive and abusive in their own misguided sense of country and self-preservation. Although unacceptable, it’s understandable. Humans do desperate things when they fear for their lives.

For the past several months, especially the past several weeks, I’ve been watching and processing all that I’ve read and heard in the public light. You have not seen me make any political proclamations or judgments, nor will you see me do that today. Those conversations are best reserved for a medium which allows for eye contact, mutual respect, and back-and-forth dialogue.

But I am going to make a spiritual proclamation, and it’s simply this:

How you and I respond to election results (or any life-altering circumstance) says a lot about where we’ve placed our confidence.

We have every right and reason to be concerned. These are trying times, trying circumstances. There is reason to be sober-minded, wise and educated about the issues and those leading us through them.

HOWEVER. It is one thing to be concerned, another to be consumed.

If your happiness or peace or security hang in the balance depending on what does or does not happen in the polls this week, then you’ve given far too much power to finite people and times. Concern? Yes. Fear and panic? No. I’m a patriotic American, from a long line of servicemen who have devoted themselves to the freedom of our democracy. I love this country. But my hope is not in it. My security does not rest in a party, a person or our constitution.

It can’t. Because anything that can change, die or disappear is not nearly strong enough to hold my hope.

The second Tuesday in November is a significant day on the calendar. But the only day on the calendar that held the power over our peace and life was a Friday.

And that Friday was followed by a Sunday. Easter Sunday.

And on that Sunday, my leader came to life. And I will follow Him to the death. And beyond.

If you’re anxious and overwhelmed about the circumstances of this week—or the angst in your own life—I get it. This life provides ample reasons to be afraid.

But instead of allowing fear to keep you knotted up about the unknown, instead remind yourself of what cannot change:

  1. God is sovereign. He is over all, in all, through all. No person or event changes this. Ever.
  2. No leader has any authority except what God gives him. The long history of the Bible gives ample evidence of God’s ability to use even the worst of leaders for His purposes. He’s got this one covered, too.
  3. God’s affection for you is everlasting. He loves you. YOU. Trust it.
  4. In Christ, your future is secure. This is a tough one, because we tend to see “the future” as what happens to our retirement accounts, our national security, the unemployment rate and global warming and the earth. But we’re thinking far too short-term. The future for every one of us is this: Death. Morbid? Yes. True? Yes, yes, yes. This life doesn’t last forever. So if you want true security, make sure you’re wrestling with that reality. And choosing Jesus as your ticket to real life.

Regardless of what happens, there’s a lot of life (and important work) waiting for us after Tuesday. This great big world will still be filled with terrified people who live knotted up on the inside. Let’s you and I show them what it looks like to be Sunday people unafraid of Tuesday politics. Because although it seems the whole world is at stake, the stakes were already paid on a good Friday on the cross.

[reminder]I want today’s comments to be FILLED with hope. Share one verse or story that gives you confidence and security in our God.[/reminder]

{Image Copyright: designsource09 / 123RF Stock Photo}

46 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

    Reply
  2. Lily

    Thank you for a blog filled with hope and truth, Michelle. We certainly need it.

    Reply
    • Lily

      For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38

      Reply
  3. Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    I so agree with you on this Michele. For me, it is kind of exciting to watch from a place of knowing…knowing that no matter the outcome, God will use the results to further His kingdom.This from the Amplified version of the Bible: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God [granted by His permission and sanction], and those which exist have been put in place by God.”

    Reply
  4. Dawn Kerr

    In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
    John 16:33

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      One of my favorites. Just used it last week in a new article. Thanks, Dawn!

      Reply
  5. Sharon Leach

    My favorite verse. Romans 8:28. All things work together for good to those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. This verse has gotten me through a lot of rough times. Thanks for writing this article at this time. Going to share.

    Reply
  6. Jerolyn

    Be still and know that I am God!

    Reply
  7. Pat

    “I know that you can do all things;
    No purpose of yours can be thwarted.
    You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
    Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me to know.”
    Job 42:1-3

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Job speaks a solid word right about now. Thank you for sharing this one, Pat.

      Reply
  8. Jenean Tripp

    Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world….
    Thank you for a shot of “what is real” in our lives….it’s so easy to get caught up in the political upheavals and breaking now news. A spoonful of faith goes a long way to calming the spirit….

    Reply
  9. Brenda

    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:18

    I love this post by the way. Thank you for all you do and say! 🙂

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      I memorized 2 Corinthians 4 several years ago … and it’s still one of my go-to passages! So rich.

      Reply
  10. Victoria Mininger

    James 1:2-5 : “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

    This is the verse I have turned too since I was a teenager – whenever life feels overwhelming or troubling to me it reminds me that we will face hard things but in it all God is still working out his best for me.

    Thank you for this word Michele – Beautifully written and expressed.

    Reply
  11. Stephanie

    “For thou altogether honest thy peace at this time…and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

    When I read this verse, I feel the Spirit so strong and the call to look at all that is going on in the world as an invitation to fully embody who God made me/us to be…that all this that’s happening is FOR us. Even the stuff that seems against us.

    Reply
    • Stephanie

      oops. Mistype. “holdest” not, “honest”. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Lisa Kachel

    Thank you for that beautiful reminder of who is really in control. God bless you, Michelle.

    Reply
  13. Marcia

    1I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
    2My help comes from the LORD,
    who made heaven and earth.

    Ps 121:1-2

    From a South African ????

    Reply
  14. Effie Darlene Barba

    So it is that in my Monday post, I wrote this:

    So, it is that I pray for Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Donald J. Trump and Melanie Trump all this prayer:

    That the eyes of their hearts might be opened to know Christ as their Lord and Savior. That having done so that:

    might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power Colossians 1:9-11

    That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:10-11

    That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:16-21 – May God open the eyes of our leaders that they might make Him Lord of their lives. – Read more at: http://scl.io/DTo7Ev3Q#gs.ijZfC20

    Reply
  15. hendrika Heeg

    Romans 11:36 For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen

    Reply
  16. Victoria

    Thank you for your words. I wish they could reach everyone. To add to what Michelle Obama said. They go high but we go Hogher. I am more at peace today. God bless you and the words you share

    Reply
  17. Nancy

    Be still and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10

    Reply
  18. Jeannie S

    “On Christ the solid rock I stand…”

    Reply
  19. cindy

    Leveled headed. My thoughts exactly. Thank you Michele .

    Reply
  20. Ellen Cole

    Romans 8:
    37 But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us. 38 I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers 39 or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.

    Reply
  21. Dorothy

    All is well in the world. Sounds strange on a day like today but not so much is really at stake. Here’s why…
    Our government is based on checks and balances. The President, no matter who, will be able to retain only so much power. Keep breathing, thinking, doing good and keeping your balance and positive thoughts. Politics just does NOT matter so much in the big picture we call “life”. Amen and Peace to all!!!

    Reply
  22. Rochelle Schafer

    I call Psalm 37 the “Do No Fret” Psalm. Instead of fretting we are told to: take delight, commit, trust, be still, wait patiently, refrain from anger, turn from wrath. Why? Verse 9 says, “For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”

    Reply
  23. Sherree

    Isaiah 26:3
    Thou Wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusteth in Thee.

    Reply
  24. Tamara

    “Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

    Reply
  25. Tamara

    Oh…and this one I love, as well……”O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may You be praised forever and ever! Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on the earth is Yours, O Lord, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as the One who is over all things. Riches and honor come from You alone, for You rule over everything. Power and might are in Your hand and it is at Your discretion that people are made great and given strength.” 1 Chronicles 29:10, 12

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Yes! Beautiful. And appropriate. I woke up this morning thinking of finding a Psalm of lament and petition. Instead, God gave me a song of praise. Which is perfect! And so fits with what you shared here. Thank you, Tamara.

      Reply
  26. Sue Schechtman

    I think this election gives us opportunity. The opportunity to stand tall with peace and grace no matter the outcome.
    Lets do the unexpected by nonbelievers who see Christians as pious and judgmental. Lets shake that stereotype and pour love on all. Plus there is a mission field waiting for us. People struggling to survive. So much so they could care less whose president, they just want to know where there next meal is coming from. While God is sovereign and taking care of the big things, lets walk and be the hands and feet of Jesus. That we can tangibly do.

    Reply
  27. RODNEY PRICE

    I am going to share one verse, written by the Apostle Paul, who by the time he wrote this had been stoned and left for dead, beaten with rods, falsely accused, beaten by a mob, maligned, imprisoned, betrayed by his own countrymen and more because of his faith in Jesus. That context is crucial because it helps us avoid misconstruing the meaning, dragging the application into the temporary and missing the greater eternal hope that this verse gives. 2 Timothy 4:18, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.”

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Context matters. I read that verse differently now than I did a few years ago. Glory to God.

      Reply
  28. Maree Dee

    Holding tight to God!

    Reply
  29. Charles

    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. [Romans 15:13 NIV]

    Reply
  30. Orpah Moyo

    Very encouraging piece, and thanks to a friend who sent it.
    I am reminded of 1 Corinthians1:27 – But God has chosen the foolish things of this world to shame the wise and God has chosen the weak things of this world, to shame the things which are strong.
    The results of the elections are not what many of us anticipated, but the agenda of God will prevail, no matter weather our choices are good or bad. Romans 8:28 – All things work together for those who love the Lord.
    At the end of the day, there is nothing that is beyond God, nothing that surprises him. The out come of this election is no surprise to him because his agenda for America is contrary to ours, his agenda for America has not changed.

    Reply
  31. Jill Calloway

    I’m reading this several days after the election. Wow, I really needed to read this. I have felt so uneasy and sad since the election (well really throughout the entire election). Our country seems so divided, and there is so much fear and hate. But what a great reminder that we can not hang our hope or future on a person or a political party. Thank you for words that I needed today…prayers for our country and leaders.

    Reply
  32. Sade Dennis

    This is a sobering and reassuring reminder that no matter who the winner of the election is, as believers in Jesus Christ wrote already have the victory. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Sade Dennis

      Isiah 41:10

      10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

      Reply

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