“Do you believe in a red state Jesus or a blue state Jesus?”*
This is the title of an article I read recently through a friends tweet. Although I wasn’t all that interested in reading any more political jargon, the first lines of the article caught my attention…
“Right after the winner is announced, somebody somewhere in America will fall on their knees and pray, ‘Thank you Jesus.’
And somebody somewhere else will moan, ‘Help us Jesus.’”
My first thought was, how true. My second thought was, how sad.
How sad that many professed Christ-follower’s will very likely go to the place of “help us Jesus” instead of “thank you Jesus” – no matter who wins the election. Instead of rejoicing, we’ll go to a place of dread. Maybe even despair.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that we should never pray ‘help us Jesus;’ the Bible is full of examples of people doing just that. And we should pray for our country. And we should mourn our collective sin. But can we pray ‘help us Jesus’ while at the same time be thanking Him? Can we do so and then rejoice and be happy for all that He’s doing – even if we don’t understand His methods?
I think we can. If we choose to.
The problem is, many of us forget there’s a much bigger picture than this election. We focus on the here and now. And earthly pursuits. But God’s ultimate concern is the eternal status of people, not their earthly ones.
He has two goals in mind and two goals only – to win people to Him and to grow up the ones who already know Him. Everything He allows supports these causes. Everything.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9, NIV
So, can we…
- Rejoice and thank God in all circumstances, like the Bible commands us to? (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
- Trust Him even if we don’t understand? (Prov. 3:5)
- Not worry about anything, as God has directed us to do? (Phil. 4:6)
- Look at fellow Christians as better than ourselves, even if they didn’t vote the way we did? (Phil. 2:3)
- Not judge people’s hearts and motives – even though sometimes it’s really, really hard not to? (Matt. 7:1)
I think we can. If we choose to.
We can choose to look at the bigger picture. We can choose to focus on what’s most important and support God in His cause. Who knows. This might even unite us a little more.
I dare us. Whether our candidate of choice wins tomorrow or not, I dare us to rejoice anyway, not just be resolved and consider that holy. I dare us to continue to pray for this nation, and the world for that matter; not for selfish reasons of wanting to live more comfortably, but for the more important reason of people surrendering their lives to Christ.
I dare us to purposely choose to praise the God of the universe who was, and is, and is to come; the One who is control of everything, the One who is patiently working to bring as many as will decide, to follow Him.
Let’s choose to look up. And let’s have a very happy Election Day!
* (Blake, J. (2012, November 2). Do you believe in a red state Jesus or a blue state Jesus? CNN Politics, politics. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/02/politics/red-blue-state-jesus/index.html?hpt=hp_c1)