September 22, 2016
Why You Don’t Have to Fear the Upcoming Election
“‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’” 2 Kings 6:16 (NIV)
I looked around the table at my kids I love so much, and fear gripped my heart.
What will the outcomes of this coming election make our world look like? What will it be like when they are trying to live as Christians in a culture so determined to dismantle our Biblical values? Have I taught them enough? Equipped them for the battles they’ll face? Will they withstand the pressures and policy changes and political shifts?
I’m not even sure I understand all the complicated political realities, but I do know when I watch the news or read discussions about the upcoming election, I don’t get a good feeling.
What I thought we’d have to navigate one day, seems to be a reality this day.
And it can leave this simple mom’s heart feeling afraid.
Do you ever feel this way? We crave safety and certainty and simplicity to raise our families, serve God, and live out our Christian beliefs in both private and public. But so many things feel threatening to those desires.
How do we navigate both our fears and our faith?
There’s a wonderful truth I turn to time and again when I get afraid. It’s in 2 Kings chapter 6 verse 16, “‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’”
The prophet Elisha spoke this treasured truth to his servant. The servant was breathless with fear because he looked and saw a massive enemy army surrounding them. His desperation is so clearly heard in verse 15b: “‘Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?’ the servant asked.”
Their circumstances were horrible and hopeless when examined through human eyes.
But Elisha doesn’t look at circumstances with human eyes. He sees there are always two realities to everything we face: A physical reality but also a spiritual reality. Elisha clearly saw the frightening military leaders surrounding his city who thought they were in control. But he also saw an angel army sent by God who was far stronger, far greater and far more in control than any human eye could see.
I love what Elisha prays for his servant.
Elisha prays his spiritual eyes will be opened so his faith will be increased. He doesn’t pray for his servant’s fear to be eased. He doesn’t pray the enemy army turns and runs away. He doesn’t pray a new king will swoop onto the scene and change the antagonistic political climate of that day. He doesn’t pray his circumstances will change at all. He simply prays his servant can see with spiritual eyes that God is in control.
“‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha,” (2 Kings 6:16-17, NIV). An angel army sent by God was there with a divine assignment.
His fear was then silenced as He saw the protection and provision of God.
And that’s how we can quiet our fears as well. Psalm 34:7 reminds us of this same truth, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them” (NIV).
That was true for Elisha’s fearful servant and it is true for us too. The Matthew Henry commentary says, “As angels are God’s messengers, so they are his soldiers, his hosts (Genesis 32:2), his legions, or regiments, (Matthew 26:53), for the good of his people.” And probably most comforting to my mom’s heart is Matthew 18:10 which says, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
Angels are not mystical or mythological, nor are they supposed to be the object of our worship. They are Biblical realities on assignment from God. They point me to recognize God’s presence and see God’s power. I need to remember this truth. That’s why I asked my artist friend Deann to paint some angels for me to hang in my home where I see them every day.
I need to remember no matter what the nightly news says about current circumstances, God’s good news is my ultimate reality. The enemy is vicious, but he is not victorious. Therefore, I can sometimes feel afraid, but I don’t have to live afraid. Like that beautiful praise song by Chris Tomlin gloriously expresses, “I know who goes before me — I know who stands behind. The God of angel armies is always by my side.”
Lord, I acknowledge Your angels on assignment from You to protect me. Like secret agents, Your angels are guarding me. Thank You for Your careful concern for every part of me — physical, emotional and spiritual. In all ways, You are with me. I will not feel alone or powerless. I will feel guarded like the treasured daughter I am. I know You are making all things right and good. I know Your love will reign supreme. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 91:11, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” (ESV)
My artist friend, Deann Hebert, has granted me special permission to offer exact replica prints of the angel paintings in my home. A portion of every painting sold supports the ongoing work of Proverbs 31 Ministries and helps us continue to offer these daily devotions for no charge. Click here to see these gorgeous reminders of God’s angels. You can text GUARDIANANGEL to 44222 for a special coupon code.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What has been stirring fear in your heart recently? Spend some time today surrendering those fears to the Lord, and ask Him to open your eyes to see things from His perspective.
© 2016 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Originally published Thursday, 22 September 2016.