Well, tonight was the election. I see various people on facebook have put their status in various nearly hopeless-sounding terms. I am not very thrilled about the outcome, but it was pretty much as I expected, considering the prevailing attitude toward Bush and the war, and the financial upheavals that have been happening. I feel calm about the election outcome, though, and of this I am certain: God has ordained that it would come out the way it did, and He will be glorified. He is not out of control, He is not off the throne. I'm not expecting that our new leaders will glorify Him in the way they lead; I expect that the pressures that might come upon Christians in the coming few years might bring us to rely more fully upon Him, and the distressing results might bring us to pray more faithfully for the salvation and guidance of those in authority over us.
I remember when Clinton was in office and everything seemed to be pointing to socialized health care. People I knew were praying fervently. Also when homeschooling looked like it was going to be outlawed with HR6, people were praying fervently. When since then has there been such impassioned prayer for the needs of believers, and for our country's leaders? It seems that there has to be such a thorn in our sides, any of various possible threats, to bring us to rely on Him, to realize the dreadful powers that would consume our nation, and to seek protection and defense from a power greater than our government, greater than the evil forces that surround and deceive those in authority.
Of course we should already be praying. Already we have a country where abortion is all too legal and convenient, where the most unthinkable forms of it are defended. There are various rights that should never be rights; whether they are scriptural is not even a concern. Whether these rights are right or wrong is not deemed a concern. Whether there is a God in heaven...well, that's already been under attack as well, in our schools and judicial systems. These evils won't be a new thing resulting from this administration; the avenue to extend them further will just be clearer, straighter, more streamlined. We already have evils in this country, and we have not been as fervent in prayer as we should have been. These challenges haven't been so bothersome for us that they would be as uppermost in our minds and hearts as they could be.
So I think perhaps this election may be the best thing for American believers. We are a complacent, comfortable, self-absorbed and shallow bunch, and I really think we would benefit from a little trouble. This wouldn't be the first time that Christians would ever face an evil government, now, would it? Far from it! The freedoms and comforts we enjoy are, rather, unusual--rare--and we take them for granted; we tend to consider ourselves entitled to them. It wouldn't be the first time, or the first place, that Christians in our world face the possibility that we might be opposed, maybe even some day attacked in some ways, by authorities. Tim today was imagining a time when we might have prayer made illegal (though I'm not sure how it could be enforced). I reminded him of Daniel, asking if he remembered what Daniel did when it was declared illegal; he knew that Daniel just kept on praying, kept on obeying God rather than men.
I also wonder how long homeschooling will be an option, and again I think of Daniel and his friends, who were in Babylon, having the Babylonian culture impressed upon them, and yet they stayed faithful. What we need to be doing, rather than fretting, is praying for those in authority, praying for the schools, praying for our children, and raising them in such a way as to be able to cope and be a light to unbelievers if they were required to attend public schools. Our children need to learn to stand firm for their faith, to know how to follow the Holy Spirit's leading, and to make the most of every opportunity. They need to learn to be Daniels. It could be the best thing that ever happened in their lives, to be made useful to God in their faith. This kind of trouble tends to separate the wheat from the chaff, and I think it will happen in our country at least to an extent; I think God has so directed the outcome of this election, directing the economic and political environment and the hearts of the voters to bring it about, because it will be good for His kingdom.