What's Going To Happen?
A biblical response to election anxiety.
Around this time of year, particularly an election year, many Americans’ thoughts are filled with fear and uncertainty about the future. Who will win the election? What will happen when they do? What will happen to us?? A recent survey revealed that 68% of American adults are significantly stressed out by the election. What does the Bible have to say about that? Let's find out!
For months now, Americans are inundated with political ads, messages, phone calls, mail, etc. It seems like the closer we get to election day, the louder they get! Going to my mailbox feels like walking into the middle of an increasingly uncomfortable argument between people who desperately want to convince me that the other person is a worse option.
In addition to these arguing voices, I start to hear my voice added to the mix, asking questions like, “are we going to be ok?” I begin to wrestle with fear and anxiety over the future. If I’m honest, the voices of fear and anxiety in me can be louder than any political ad, even those with all caps across the front.
My hope today is that we can dig into the Bible together and be reassured by the voice of the One we need to hear the most. I need to listen to His voice and gain His perspective to stand on something firm instead of drowning in my uncertainty. So let’s tackle a few fears together!
Fear of the Unknown Future
The first fear I deal with is the kind that comes from an unknown future. The year 2020 has had its fair share of surprises around each corner, and not all of them have been particularly pleasant. At this point, I would say there’s a decent amount of general anxiety over what the headline will be tomorrow. When you add on top of that, something more specific to be anxious about, like “what will I wake up to on Wednesday, November 4th”! Thankfully, Jesus isn’t interested in shaming us when we feel overwhelmed and anxious; He wants us to find hope in Him.
In a sermon in Matthew 6, Jesus reassures us that if God takes care of the birds and flowers, he will undoubtedly take care of us! So there’s no need to be anxious! He says, “do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.” In other words, why are you chasing after tomorrow already? You have to survive today first! (Sorry, that’s maybe more the tired parent speaking than what Jesus meant). He says this in the context of telling us how God cares for us and will take care of us tomorrow, just like He is doing today.
In addition to not being anxious about tomorrow, Jesus also tells us what to pursue today! He says, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” Today, I should seek to live righteously and pursue His kingdom. Tomorrow, for followers of Jesus, doesn’t have to be something to fear. When we consider our struggles today in the light of eternity, the apostle Paul says they will seem light and momentary. Today is for us to walk with Jesus, and tomorrow is one day closer to His return.
Fear of Losing Treasure
In addition to an unknown future, I think there’s also just a general fear of losing. You can probably fill in the blank with a handful of things you’re afraid of losing, but let's talk about a few categories we might find some common ground.
In America particularly, I think there’s a genuine fear of losing our treasure or maybe put another way, we’re afraid of losing our comfort. When surveyed about the issue driving us to the polls this November, do you know the top issue was brought up? The economy. On almost all the other issues listed, it swung wide to the right or the left, but on this, we were united—we’re all worried about the economy. This came close to home for me a few months ago when the pandemic struck. I was consumed by the endless “what if” statements about how tomorrow might rob me of what I have today. You know those moths, rust, and thieves Jesus said destroy our treasures on earth? I found out I was terrified of them. I hadn’t realized how highly I treasured all of these things that had no eternal value.
Jesus talks a lot about treasure, especially our struggle with treasuring temporary things over eternal things. In Hebrews 13:5, the writer implores Christians to “keep your life free from love of money and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Isn’t that good news!? He’s saying, “Don’t love money, love Jesus! Money will leave you!” All I have to do is glance at my bank account to see that my money is always leaving me. And one day, I will leave it behind whether I want to or not, but Jesus will never leave me! We have a treasure in Jesus that we cannot lose, no matter what tomorrow brings!
Fear of Losing Control
Second, I think many of us are afraid of losing control. You can see political advertising playing off that fear over the last few months, urging you to vote for the right candidates, lest we “lose control” of everything. Or perhaps that their candidates will get things “under control” in all the ways the opposition will surely fail. The world sure feels on the brink this year, in a way that I’ve never experienced, and all eyes are fixed on this potential shift of power in American politics to bring us back control.
Here’s the most important question for us to ask: what is God’s perspective on this? I desperately need a perspective shift around my desire for control because the way I’ve been looking at things is leaving me in fear.
Let’s look at this “shift of power” that I referenced a moment ago because that’s where we need to have a shift in perspective first. Perhaps an analogy is helpful. Imagine the country is a large sailing ship, and every few years, the passengers vote the crew into their positions. Aboard the ship, there is a perceived shift of power when the newly elected crew takes the helm, adjusts the rudder, and hoists the sail, but what has happened? Who still controls the sea, directs the tides, moves the wind, determines the weather?
Psalm 46:6 puts the nations in their proper perspective, saying:
 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts. (ESV)
I’m not saying the crew doesn’t matter! Good and wise leadership can make a big difference! I am saying we need to keep things in perspective. We need to remember that one day, it says in Isaiah 2:17:
 the haughtiness of man shall be humbled,
and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low,
and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. (ESV)
Let’s get personal with this for a moment because fear always has a way of worming deeper into our hearts that we realized. Maybe fear has made its way to an especially personal place with you, and the question you’re asking is “will I ever feel in control of my life again.” I think a biblical perspective shift is just what we need.
The Bible reminds us in several places that I never have and never will have control over my life. Psalm 144 says I am “like a breath,” and the days of my life are “like a passing shadow” compared to God, yet the writer (King David) is amazed that God still cares for Him!
In James 4, living with this illusion of control is called “boastful and arrogant.” It says:
 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (ESV)
It makes a difference to live in a reality where we are not in control, but the God who cares for us is. What a joy to live from a place of saying “if the Lord wills”! What a relief to let go of an illusion of control and recognize the greater hands that hold me today and for all my tomorrows.
Everything Hangs on This
One of the phrases that I hear thrown around often by both sides of the political aisle is that “everything hangs on this election.” Let me just address that for a moment by saying no—it doesn’t.
I’m not saying that elections don't matter or that you shouldn’t vote. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care about this country’s future or the people who are leading it. I am saying, don’t let your sense of security hang on the outcome of those things. Make sure you’re standing on a foundation that is eternal and not temporary. Have a perspective like Paul, where he says, “we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Don’t give in to the fear that “everything hangs on this.” Don’t hang your hope for the future on the shoulders of men and women who are flawed and imperfect just like you and I. Instead, hang your hope for the future on Jesus! Love your neighbor no matter what yard signs they may have out front, and have peace in knowing that Jesus said: “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.”
 Matthew 6:34
 Matthew 6:33
 2 Corinthians 4:17
 Matthew 6:19
Survey showing 80% of Americans feel the US is out of control: https://s.wsj.net/public/resources/documents/200266NBCWSJJune2020Poll.pdf
 Psalm 144:4
 2 Corinthians 5:1
Am I "Enough"?
A biblical view of self-worth.
A while ago, I was listening to a Christian radio station on my way to work. The DJ was getting ready to sign off for the morning, and she left the broadcast with this comment to her listeners:
“Remember, you are worthy, you are beautiful, and you are enough.”
That was it. That was her parting thought, and my first thought was, “well, that’s kind of a nice thought, isn’t it…”
But the more I thought about it, the more it struck me as an odd thing for one believer to say to another. Now I could hear a believer saying those things about Jesus! Jesus, you are worthy, you are beautiful, and you are enough! That would be a true and right thing to say! But about me?
Even more recently, someone I would call a celebrity pastor tweeted out, “you already are enough.” To which I responded, I am? Is this idea biblical? Is it missing the proper context? Do I just suffer from poor self-esteem? Possibly. But here’s the message I see in scripture.
Am I worthy?
Well, typically, the worth of something is determined by what you would pay for it. So yes, we are valuable because of the price Jesus paid for us. But let’s qualify that for a moment. The price that Jesus paid for us is a picture of His goodness, His kindness, and His love and not my worthiness. I do not deserve to be rescued and have Jesus pay for me with His life. Romans 5 describes us as “ungodly” (5:6), “sinners” (5:8), and even “enemies”(5:10) when Jesus came and died for us! Our salvation is a costly gift we do not deserve! Let me put it this way for the dog people out there—we are not the winning purebred in Purina’s annual dog show—we are the mutt with matted hair and a grumpy disposition. And so the price Jesus paid for me should always redirect me to His goodness. Songwriters Keith and Kristyn Getty say it this way in a song “two wonders here that I confess, my worth and my unworthiness.”
Let’s move on to beauty.
Doesn’t scripture say that I’m created in the image of God? (Genesis 1:27) Doesn’t it say that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13)? God’s handiwork!? (Ephesians 2:10)
Yes. But when we look at each of those verses, who is emphasized? I’ll give you a hint—it’s not actually us. Being created in God’s image means I get to reflect His beauty! The Psalmist says I praise YOU because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, YOUR works are wonderful. Paul says I am God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Do you see where the true focus is here? It’s not on us. It’s on the beauty of the God who made us and died to save us.
Finally, let’s look at “enough-ness.” That’s not a word, but I’m going with it.
Let me put it to you straight. I am not already enough. I have never been enough. And I never will be enough…on my own. Saying or tweeting that “you are enough” doesn’t give us the most important part of the message! That Jesus is enough! At best, it’s a vague thing to say, and at worst, it’s misleading. It’s true of us only because it is true of Jesus, and it cannot be removed or separated from our union with Him.
2 Corinthians 12:10 says that I should not delight in my enough-ness, but my weaknesses! Why? So that Christ’s power may rest on me!
The answer to my self-doubt isn’t to simply believe in myself; it’s to believe in the work of Jesus, and believe that when the Father looks at me, He now sees the perfection of Jesus and not my imperfection.
The answer to my insecurities isn’t to say, “I should be secure in what I already am”; it’s to stand securely in the work that Jesus has done for me and is doing in me!
So in closing this up, I think Galatians 6:14 might sum this up the best for me. It says, “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I think this is about more than just giving context to these statements about our worth, our beauty, our enoughness. I think it’s about totally redirecting our focus off of ourselves and onto Jesus.
It is Jesus who gets every ounce of the glory here. I will gladly share my insufficiencies with you so that you may know the sufficient grace of God.
I hope this was helpful and encouraging to you! If you want to know the next time we put out content like this, you should definitely subscribe to our mailing list!
 (2014). My Worth Is Not In What I Own, Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Graham Kendrick
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