When Americans head to work today, about half of them will be overjoyed that their political candidate for governor, senator or congressman won on Election Day. The other half will be disappointed, discouraged or outraged because their candidate lost.
People on both sides of the political divide viewed the 2018 midterms as the mother of all elections. Shikha Dalmia of Time magazine, writing from the political left, declared: “This is the most important midterm election in our lifetime” because it is a referendum on Trump’s presidency.
Former Vice President Joe Biden also declared the 2018 elections to be “the most important election any of us have voted in so far.” And the far-left magazine Mother Jones called this week’s election “the most important election of our lives.”
And in an interview from the Cannes Film Festival in France, actress Jane Fonda said, “It’s hard for me to breathe right now” because she was so nervous about the midterm elections. “The elections on Nov. 6 are the most important elections of my lifetime. So much depends on what happens,” Fonda said.
Meanwhile, many leaders on the conservative side of politics also viewed the 2018 midterm election as an Armageddon-style, once-in-a-lifetime, D-Day event. During a White House dinner in August, President Trump warned top evangelical leaders that if Democrats win in November, they “will overturn everything that we’ve done, and they’ll do it quickly and violently.”
There are a few problems with this “most important election in history” scenario. For one, it has been used before. It was used in 2016. It was used in 2012. It was used in 1988, when the first George Bush ran against Michael Dukakis. The phrase was even used by The New York Times in 1864, when President Abraham Lincoln was running for a second term against General George B. McClellan!
We Americans have a flair for the dramatic when it comes to politics. We are the masters of hype. We wring our hands and hyperventilate when politicians or celebrities tell us a national disaster is imminent if we don’t change who is sitting in the White House.
And the saddest fact is that political parties spend a lot of money to manipulate our emotions with advertisements, robocalls and campaign mailings. Democrats and Republicans spent a combined $5.2 billion on the 2018 elections—making it the most expensive election in history according to Business Insider. With all this money being spent on attack ads, no wonder we are all stressed out.
I’m not saying your vote isn’t important. (I voted early this year.) I’m not suggesting elections don’t have the power to improve our lives. I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about politics.
But as I’ve listened to the overheated rhetoric of this campaign cycle, I’ve been reminded of one very comforting truth that helps me sleep at night—even when Republicans and Democrats alike tell us that the world will collapse if the wrong person gets elected.
That truth is simple: Jesus Christ is on the throne, no matter who gets elected.
I have been meditating on verses about God’s throne during the 2018 midterms. It gives me great peace to know that God’s authority transcends all human authority—even when wicked men are in power.
Psalm 45:6a says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.” Psalm 47:8 says, “God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.” Psalm 103:19 says, “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.” Many of the psalms focus on the reality of God’s throne in heaven.
Lamentations 5:19 says, “You, O Lord, remain forever; your throne endures from generation to generation.” And Hebrews 8:1 says that Jesus Christ “is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” Not only is God on the throne, but He has also shared all His authority with His Son. And His throne is immovable. God’s rule is ultimate and undeniable.
I discovered that the word “throne” appears 44 times in the book of Revelation, more times than in any other book of the Bible. That’s significant, because Revelation reminds us not only who is working behind the curtain of human history, but how His authority will be revealed to all people when this world comes to an end.
No matter whom we elect, God is ultimately in charge. No matter how much we argue about moral values, poverty, social justice, global warming, race, sexuality, economics, taxation, health care or immigration policy, a day will come when all human opinions will yield to the authority of the one true God. All senators, governors, presidents, prime ministers and kings will bow to Him. All mouths will be shut.
Let’s remember that the earliest Christians never had the freedom to vote, and many of them were thrown into Rome’s coliseums to die. Yet they declared to their culture: “We have no king but Jesus.”
We should never put our ultimate trust in a politician or a political party. In the end, the King of kings will have the last word.