God’s Sovereignty and the Political Blues

David Stertz
May 4, 2016

Most conservative, American Christians have voted Republican over the last several decades: this is not a secret. As a conservative, American Christian I have done the same. Though I have never made this central to my ministry as a pastor, my personal political leanings have not been a secret for anyone who wanted to know them.blues_bw

One more fact that is not a secret: many, if not most conservative, American Christians are not Donald Trump supporters. A myriad of reasons exist why such Christians do not support Trump. Many of these kinds of Christians are quite discouraged about the possibility of voting either for Trump or Hillary Clinton – the presumptive Democratic nominee. My sympathies are largely the same.

A quick scroll of the Facebook feed finds a lot of conservative Christians feeling and singing the political blues. Yet, there are other conservative Christians who feel, in response to these blues, that they should remind or even gently chide their fellow Christians that God still rules the world. Social media, blogs, and formal columns are popping up with these “reminders.”

The question I ask is this: can a Christian feel discouraged or frustrated or saddened by the direction of his or her nation and at the same time have their hope in God’s Sovereign rule? My answer: yes we can.

John 11:35 gives us the shortest verse in the Bible – “Jesus wept.” Jesus’ weeping occurred when His good friend Lazarus had died. However, His weeping likely did not occur simply because of Lazarus’ death (after all, Jesus knew He would raise him from the dead), but because of the lack of faith demonstrated by the people all around Jesus. Jesus saw the wailing of the mourners and heard Mary say “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” even after He had promised them that He was the resurrection and the life. Jesus responded by being “groaned in the spirit” and He was “troubled.” He saw evil around him and it hurt. He wept.

At that point, Jesus did not fear anything. Neither did Jesus lose His firm belief in the power of His heavenly Father. Jesus certainly had not forgot that God still ruled the world. Jesus still knew that God would raise Him up one day and give Him a name above every name. Yet, Jesus still mourned.

When I go to a funeral for a Christian who has died, I mourn. If the individual was close to me, I often cry. Even when I do not know the deceased well, the hurt I see in the deceased one’s family brings me hurt. Still, I never worry about the resurrection from the dead. I never fear for the soul of the saved one who has died. I do not doubt the power of Jesus to call forth the dead unto life one day. I do, however, mourn evil which in this case is the evil enemy of death.

I feel the political blues. Something in the land of America that I love has died or is dying. With this death, it is likely that more evil will come. Evil likely will come to my church, to my family, to me, and to my country. My sorrow does not doubt the power of God. My sorrow is like that of the Lord Jesus – I see sin and its power wreaking havoc in the lives of people and in the life of a nation. For this I weep.