Guard Your Heart With Hope (Post Election Special)

Introduction: Four Years Ago
I’ll never forget the Sunday Morning after the 2016 presidential election. We were working through a series called “Songlasses” which was a survey of the various worldviews of our culture which are anti-God and anti-church. Full-disclaimer: When it comes to ministry I adopt an apolitical stance, i.e., I don’t mix politics with pulpit. If you want to know my personal views, I’ll gladly to tell you but in a different venue over hot coffee and apple pie. However, my hope is that when Christ followers vote we do so with biblical values uppermost, particularly those issues that promote and protect life.
After preaching on that particular Sunday four years ago, I introduced myself to a new guest and when I did he immediately went all nuclear on me. He began to lambast me for not being pastoral enough. You see, his candidate lost and five days later he was still agonizing over her shocking defeat. With hyper-elevated voice he told that I should have offered a pastoral message, which included comforting the voters that lost (i.e. him), a condemnation of the new president, and a commiseration how horrible everything was going to be from infinity to beyond.
Guard Your Heart Post-Election Special
As I look back on that encounter I sure as heck don’t want to be ingloriously unpastoral today. I know that elections have consequences along with heavy emotional investments, especially in our hyper polarized political environment. Therefore, I want to add a special post-election “Guard Your Heart” message. I want to address the hearts of those whose candidate won and also the hearts of those whose candidate lost.
To Those Whose Candidate Won
To those whose candidate won, congratulations! You fulfilled your patriotic privilege and duty by voting. You, along with millions of your fellow citizens, chose the winner. Hopefully, he will be able to unify the nation and usher in a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity. We should all want that. However, as hopeful as you are about the future, you still need to “guard your heart” today by not being too hopeful. Here’s why. The church I was leading in 2008 was a polling place much like Bay Point is today. I remember interacting with folks as they were coming out after voting. With some folks, I was taken aback, even frightened, when they spoke so glowingly, even messianically, about the man for whom they had voted. In worshipful terms one person radiated, “If so-and-so gets elected all of our problems will be over.” His candidate eventually did win but guess what, our nation’s problems persisted and in some ways, got worst. That’s not a knock on one of our former presidents. I respect the presidency and consider it the hardest and most complicated of all jobs. It’s just that we know that our political system is deeply flawed and is governed by deeply flawed people. I think it has something to do with the old truism raised by Sir John Dalberg-Acton, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
I may be wrong, but we always need to be wary of people who thirst for power for power’s sake. Thus, we should never put our hope in politics because, vicariously/simultaneously speaking, that is putting our hope in people. If we do, not only will we eventually be disappointed but we will also be committing the sin of idolatry. Idolatry is anything in which we place our trust, hope, and joy in more than the good Lord himself. So go ahead and continue to be excited about the vison, agendas, and policies, of the recently elected president. However, just don’t think he’s going to be ushering in the millennium before sundown. Furthermore, remember that that your citizenship is first in the KOG and secondly, the KOA. You are still obligated to “See first the KOG” (Matthew 6:33) as King Jesus taught. Furthermore, make sure your political attitude is that of David in Psalms 20:7
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
Or even that of American war hero, General George S. Patton who once pointed out:
For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: “All glory is fleeting.” “All glory is fleeting.”
So guard your heart by not putting your hope in politics or politicians!
To Those Whose Candidate Lost
Now on to those whose candidate lost. Please guard your heart from disappointment. You got your hopes up and voted for the candidate that best represented your personal, party, and policy preferences but yet, he didn’t win. It’s ok to be disappointed. If the winners of this election need to guard their hearts by not putting their hope in politics then you need to guard your by putting more hope in God. As David asked in Psalm 42:11
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Remember also that just as there can only be one airplane pilot at a time, there can be only one president at a time so root for him to succeed. It’s probably the best way to bring healing and unity to our country. You can still put your hope in God because he is the Lord of the Nations. You can still put your hope in God because God is still on the throne and his will is still being done “on earth as it is in heaven.” You can still put your hope in God because he is still good and the future is bright. You can still put your hope in God because God has a plan and is working that plan. You can still put your hope in God because as Daniel 2:21 tells us he
Controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.
You can still put your hope in God because the end of the world will come at the end of the world and not a second sooner. And guess what? Although it may feel like it, it’s not going to come just because your candidate didn’t win. So put more hope in God because when you do you he will lift up your “downcast soul.”
Conclusion:
It was once said that we can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only one second without hope. Weather your candidate won or lost let us guard our hearts by maintaining our hope in God. Let’s close our special post-election “Guard your Heart” message with the best hope floats scripture in the Bible, Psalm 33:20-22
20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
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