Spiritual Lessons of a Historic Presidential Election, Part I: Communion vs. Nationalism

The 2016 U.S. presidential election has been emotionally painful for many people.  Part of this is a result of the dark and regressive campaigns run by both sides of the political divide.

Some have found the process so destructive that they feel the United States has been damaged by it. People desire communion, and nationalism can provide a limited sense of this. We can be comforted that we live in a great nation, and there is community in a national identity. Some now experience a feeling of loss of what they believed to be a godly national identity.  The recent election has been a powerful force towards disunity and fragmentation.

In losing the election, there is pain and fear in the result.  In winning the election, there is relief and comfort.  Both of these election experiences were deeply emotional, and the darkness of this world can use either experience to deceive and keep us away from the Light.  For those experiencing relief, there is deception in the comfort and reliance on anything other than our Lord. For those feeling fear and pain of the loss, there is comfort in the Great Comforter.  

If your “side” won, you are relieved and pleased that the future will bring a return of the country back to the “good” side. Of those whose candidate won, many believe that the United States has been and now will again be the best country in the world.  But as Christians, we always need reminders that darkness has free rein on earth. Despite the country’s God-honoring origins, Satan has always been here, working destructively to take his prey.  We want to believe that as Americans, we are good, safe, and justified. We desire unity in a national identity, but nationalism can be a dividing force against the people of other countries.  If we believe Americans are godlier than those of other nations, 1John 2:16 warns us against a worldly arrogance that can be a part of our nationalism. We are not godly based on our earthly citizenship.

If your “side” lost, it was a crushing and unexpected defeat, resulting in fear that the world will be unsafe and controlled by the “bad” side. But if we are in Christ, He is then with us no matter what country we belong to. Our citizenship is in heaven. Whether we live in the United States, Communist China, Russia, Mexico, Japan or Congo, if we are surrendered to Christ, we are in His communion. If we are His, then nothing can separate us from Him and His righteousness including our national identity or whoever is governing us.

Wherever we are, take comfort that God ordains our leadership and our governments, as in Romans 13:1-7. He is sovereign and no matter where we lie down and put our heads, we live daily, moment by moment in Him, which is a better reality than living governed by who we think would be the better leader.

Whether your “side” won or lost, or if you are sad that your United States is either changing from good to bad, or from bad to good, remember that God is our King, not a political leader, party or country.  They are under God’s domain and power, and He is ruler over them all. Don’t be deceived by the ruler of this world. Take comfort that what makes us good or bad, or righteous, is not our country, party or politics.  It is by His grace. God is sovereign and our communion is in Him.

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