"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." -Matthew 5:16
"Not only must you rejoice, but your joy must be made manifest. Men must see and know your joy and, seeing it, know without any doubt that it springs from living with Me. The hard, dull way of resignation is not My way." -God Calling devotional
After hearing the results of the presidential election, I felt physically sick. I was angry and just beside myself, really, that's how upset I was. I knew even before the results were in that God was in control and He would allow who He would allow to be our president. My reaction, however, did not reflect that belief. God allowed me my little temper tantrum....for a few minutes. He then proceeded to remind me that His plan is in motion, not mine. He impressed upon me that what I am to do now is to lift up my head and continue along the path that He set me on. Then, this morning, He dropped the little bombshell you read above on me. Not only am I not supposed to grumble and complain about the state of this country or our leadership, but I am to rejoice. "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" -Philippians 4:4 I have nothing to worry about or be afraid of.
I thought about that for awhile. Rejoicing when my heart is heavy is asking a lot. That's not my natural reaction, of course. God is calling me to an eternity-minded response. My heart doesn't need to be heavy. The battle is already won and I am on the winning side. The Creator of the universe, the orchestrator of all history, is my Heavenly Father who loves me completely and unconditionally. If that can't make my heart sing, nothing will and I have a serious heart condition. So, while the world grumbles and complains about where this country is headed, I and my Christian brothers and sisters can dance and sing because we know where WE are headed. The big, eternal picture is so much bigger than one presidential election or even the fate of a single country. Those of us who study our Bibles know where it's all going to end up anyway.
God has a plan and if I want to be a part of what He's doing and not what the rest of the world is doing, then I need to spend my time drawing near to Him and following His direction. I need to focus and not be distracted by the world because that's exactly where the enemy would have me. I need to be thankful for who Christ is and who I am in Him, and I need to rejoice so that my light will shine in this dark world during these dark times. God wants to use me and you to draw those who really do have a reason to be worried and afraid, to The One who can protect them and alleviate their fears. That's who we Christians are; protected and fearless. I, for one, need to start acting like it.
Father, forgive us our double-mindedness and our fleshly weakness to focus only on the circumstances. Strengthen us, Lord, and raise us up to be the light in this dark world that you intend us to be. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and the joy of the Lord. Send us where You would have us go and direct us to do what You would have us do. And Father, Thy will be done in this country. Give us ears to hear and hearts to obey, for Your glory. In the mighty name of Jesus I ask, Amen.