a peace that passes understanding

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” -2 Timothy 1:7

In this year of political paranoia and financial failure, I've heard a lot of fear mongering from all kinds of people. I even met a conspiracy theorist in the freezer aisle at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago who was very concerned about the year 2012 and the Queen of England, among other things. And I've met more than a few people calling themselves Christians who are just beside themselves over all that's happening around them.

Granted, this is a difficult election on many levels, and I admit that I'm struggling to feel I can vote for either of the primary presidential candidates in good conscience before my Lord for a variety of reasons.

I'm also married to a man who just a few months ago had to end a job of 20+ years. We're currently trying to work out a situation with health insurance, and took at least one hit from the stock market ourselves.

But all that said, I'm not afraid of the future.

Maybe you've seen this e-mail, which has been going around for a while now:
10 Predictions No Matter Who Wins the Election
1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer (to the One, True, Living God) will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praises to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross for you.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost if they turn to Him.

Isn’t it great to know Who's still in control?
Now, want a prediction on who's going to win? It will be the man God chooses. But that doesn't negate our responsibility to vote, for the president or any other candidate or issue. What's incredible is that in the U.S. we get to vote and be part of the process of His choosing. So we need to do our research, vote as the Lord leads and leave the results to Him.

"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." -Proverbs 21:1

Also, regardless of who wins, believers need to follow the Lord's leading in how we can most glorify Him in whatever situations arise. Anything can happen, no matter who is in the Oval Office. (Remember The Civil War? WWI? WWII? Black Friday? Vietnam? Desert Storm? 9/11? Hurricane Katrina? Need I go on?) And God will be (has been, always is) in control of it all. He will always remain on His throne.

Christian, be ready to see how He will call you to serve in His historical framework rather than advising Him on your opinion of how things should be.

If you're one who doesn't know Him, I pray you will.

"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord." -Job 1:21

As for the financial fallout, my husband was surprised when I wasn't nervous given his work situation. But I was (still am) trusting the Lord the whole time. I still had a job. Seeing what was coming, he was smart enough to take a bridge job even before leaving. This summer, the multi-talented guy could barely keep up with all the side jobs he was offered. I even got in on some of that action, which was fun. And now he has a job very close to home, thus saving gasoline, and could not be any more in his element.

The Lord clearly provided, past and present, in ways no one would have imagined. And as I watched and waited to see what would happen next, I saw (continue to see) His extraordinary control at every turn, and I give Him all the glory.

Will we ignore the Lord Jesus Christ who tells us not to worry about our basic needs? What does He say?

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." -Matthew 6:33-34

Seek Him first. Trust Him. He'll take care of you.

"...whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." -1 Corinthians 10:31

If you are a believer in Christ, you should be completely secure, no matter what the circumstance. Continue to watch what He does. Really watch! You will find ways to glorify Him. Don't get caught up in all the noise and distractions of whatever you think are horrible circumstances (even if they truly are). This is not the eternity we are looking for. Things will be bad here. He even told us so.

"...In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." -John 16:33

We trust Him. We look to Him for peace. We wait for His return.

The Bible spends a lot of time telling us things will, in fact, get worse before they get better—and by better, I mean the return of our King to set things right once and for all. Why, then, are we surprised when seemingly bad things happen, or if things appear "worse" than in the past? (Which is, in many instances, blown out of proportion or highly questionable.) We live in a world that's been sinful and fallen for a few thousand years. But now, we can broadcast our wretchedness to everyone. I often wonder if things are really worse or just more obvious.

Either way, God would be just to judge every nation at any given time. But in His patience He is waiting for the fullness of time and sparing us all. Praise Him for His mercy in allowing all who are called to come into His Kingdom.

"He who testifies to these things
(in the Book of Revelation) says, 'Surely I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" -Revelation 22:20

Pray for His coming. Look for His works. Glorify Him in all you see Him do. Trust Him for His ultimate decisions and control. Find your comfort in Him alone. And share who He is with others as you go, so those who are called by Him will eventually answer, glorify His Name and find peace in Him as well.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." -Proverbs 3:5-6

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