Election Day 2020 draws ever closer, even though tens of millions of citizens have already cast their ballots – a startling record in this unprecedented pandemic season.
I hope everyone reading this has voted or plans to do so between now and November 3rd. Even though experts are predicting a record turnout, the sad reality is that tens of millions of people won’t bother to participate in the electoral process.
Although every candidate running is a flawed person, voting is a sacred privilege. Drive by or visit any military cemetery and you’ll see row upon row of white crosses and Stars of David representing men and women who sacrificed their lives in an effort to preserve our freedoms, including the right to free elections. You’re welcome to sit this one out – but to do so insults the memories of these soldiers who put it all on the line.
In addition to the election itself, I’ve been giving some thought to the morning of November 4th and beyond.
How will our nation react to news of either President Trump’s reelection or former Vice President Biden’s victory?
What will the mood and tenor of the nation be if the result is delayed or disputed?
Will there be civil unrest?
Will we see a reprise of this past summer’s violent protests?
How will Christians respond to whatever we face as a nation following this election?
I think it’s wise for us to plan in order to be prepared for what’s coming. We don’t need to fret – but with faith and confidence, we should be ready.
I recognize that many are of the mind to not borrow worry – and that’s a wise reminder. In fact, Jesus Himself urged His followers to take a big deep breath when faced with daunting circumstances.
There’s a grand misconception that life was less worrisome or less stressful hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Modern men and women tend to think we’re living in increasingly anxious days – but life has always been uncertain and uneven.
If this weren’t the case, why would Jesus have urged those before Him to take a big deep breath and gain perspective?
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself,” said Jesus. “Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
So, yes, there are troubles coming – but don’t worry – but we should prepare.
For guidance, the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus remain timeless and practical.
Here are a few reminders:
Anticipate difficulty. Expect the worst and pray for the best.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes,” Paul writes (Ephesians 6:10-11).
We need to recognize that anarchy and violence are hallmarks of the evil one. We flee from such destruction – and see it for what it is – a tool that we denounce in the strongest of terms.
Avoid partisan bickering and embrace an eternal perspective.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” he continued (Ephesians 6:12).
We may practically align with a political party or even a candidate but must remember that our ultimate battle is not against a political opponent. It’s against our spiritual enemies and our own sin and Jesus has already conquered both on our behalf.
Stand firm in your faith and on your principles.
“Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).
God’s ways and principles are not always popular, but we have nothing for which to apologize. Whether the sanctity of life wins on the ballot or not, it’s still always the right thing.
I hope you’ll join me in praying for peace in the days leading up to November 3rd – and in the weeks and months following it. I may not know what November or December holds, but I know the Lord does – and He has proven Himself faithful to us through all the ups and downs of history.