"Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)
How are you feeling this week? Angry, fearful, and frustrated, or relieved and grateful? Or, are you still waiting for final election results to even decide how to feel? All across our country, solid, committed followers of Jesus find themselves on different ends of the spectrum, feeling very different emotions this week. Wherever you find yourself, let me assure you, it’s going to be ok. As I sat praying earlier this week, I thought of those of you who read this blog. We all have various reasons for the things we look to for encouragement. I don’t know what it is that draws you to the Echoes of Hope blog, but my hope is you find God “echoing hope” through my thoughts and words. With this in mind, I felt the weight of wanting, so very much, to encourage you this morning after the election. The words above from Isaiah are what God led me to share and I think they are fitting for all of us today and always. Whether your candidate was elected or not, or you’re still waiting to hear, God is the one who reigns in “perfect faithfulness” and he is not surprised by the outcome of this week’s election. In fact, he was very aware of the place we would find ourselves today… “long ago.” For this reason, in light of everything going on around us, we can “exalt and praise” his name. But be honest, does this knowledge bring you comfort? While reading this verse, the first words immediately drew me in — “Lord, you are my God.” IF he is indeed my God, then in any and every situation, he can be trusted. My friends, the question that lies before each one of us this week is not, “Did our candidate get elected?” but, “IS the Lord our God?” If he is, then this week’s outcome, good or bad, should not faze us. If he’s not, then yeah, we have reason to pause. Now let me elaborate just a bit. I’m not saying that we don’t do our part to continue to help change our country for the good. Please, please hear me. God expects us to fight for the good of our country and to do our part as Christ-followers to make it better. But, at the end of the day, HIS perfect faithfulness is what we should trust in, not our efforts, and certainly not our elected officials. Much of my life has not gone the way I planned; some seasons have been incredibly painful. But, what I can tell you with absolute honesty is that God has never once been unfaithful to me. His plans have a way of looking very different than mine, and in some seasons that has been frustrating and confusing, but always in “perfect faithfulness he has done wonderful things.” So again, wherever you find yourself this week, may you choose to believe in God’s “perfect faithfulness” and to praise his name for his goodness. His plans are always for our good (Jeremiah 29:11), and it is fitting for us to praise him this day and always.
For Your Reflection… Praising God is easy when things go our way. How are you at praising him when life turns out differently than you thought? If today is a great day for you, how can you praise God without harming those around you who may be grieving?