You know, politics makes me grumpy. It kind of kicks me back into a cynicism that I have fought hard to quench. I don’t like the person I can become when I start talking political with people. I really see the idiocy in people much faster when I’m in a political mode. That’s one reason I disconnected from FoxNews several years ago. I don’t say that as a swipe toward them; they do what they do for the $$ they can make like any other news outlet. I was worn out by the sound bites, the talking points, the talking heads, and the way my thinking was being influenced was positively uber-cynical.
But here I am again, along with everyone else in our nation, smack in the heat of a Presidential debate, getting all political again, trying to keep my snarky comments to a minimum. I don’t think I’ve ever been more disgusted by a Presidential race. The Republicans may as well be cannibals. The Democrats only offer us dreams of a socialistic utopia. And the media, in the midst of all this, has only been throwing gasoline on the fire, only concerned about their $$, singing, “Burning down the house!”
Yet! God expects his kids to rejoice!
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
Constantly find a reason to rejoice in the Lord at all times. Notice that this isn’t a suggestion or a request. It’s an instruction. We’re expected to be a people who rejoice, no matter what. That means that in the middle of this mud-fest of an election, when the stakes are high, when the fate and direction of this nation seem to hang in the balance, we cannot get caught up in despair and gloom, but instead we are to rejoice in the Lord and find our gladness in Him!
We underestimate the importance of gladness. If we would find our gladness, our satisfaction, our happiness, our joy in Jesus Christ instead of earthly things, we wouldn’t sweat nearly as many things as we do. Think about it. Most of your relationship dysfunction happens because you place too much hope in your significant other. If you hang your happiness on people, you’ll end up disappointed and hurt. But if your happiness is centered in Christ first, when people disappoint, you don’t lose hope. In fact, you will even forgive people much easier when Christ is your joy and happiness.
How can a person get to this point? How can we find a reason to rejoice in the Lord at all times? It’s an intentional act. You have to decide a few things for your life. I had to decide that I was going to stop filling my mind and heart with the gloom and despair from the media, and instead start filling my heart with things of the Lord. And it’s not just a commitment to read your Bible. It’s a lifestyle change. You’re choosing to shift your focus, your habits, even your relationships to a direction that leads you toward Jesus. You’re talking about changing the way you think about the world. It’s a worldview shift from whatever you were to whatever keeps your view on Jesus Christ. Without this intentional shift, your rejoicing will only be momentary and your gladness will remain tied up with temporal things.
Is the election important? Absolutely! Is it the most important thing in my life? Not even close. Not even in the ballpark. Every Christian needs to realize at some point that the events and circumstances cannot tie up our joy. It cannot be allowed to bind our rejoicing. We are to rejoice in the Lord, no matter who is elected President, no matter if the United States of America becomes a full blown socialist nation, or even if it disintegrates from the inside out in to warring tribes and clans. God expects his kids to rejoice in Jesus . . . at all times. You need to find your gladness in Jesus. If you don’t, you won’t be ready for the days that are coming.