Mark G. Schroeder
In November, Americans will cast their votes for president and other elected officials. After two years of a presidential campaign that has been anything but normal, people on all ends of the political spectrum look to the election results as an indication of where our country will head. Regardless of which candidate you support, and regardless of which candidate wins, I think we can safely say that no one can predict what awaits our country once the ballots are counted. One thing is certain: We can’t be certain about the future no matter what the election results are.
Or can we? For Christians, there is no uncertainty whatsoever in the future. It’s not that Christians can predict coming events or know the details of what will happen in the months and years to come. Those things are all hidden from us in the unsearchable wisdom and knowledge of God. Our certainty about the future rests in something else. Our certainty about the future is rooted in the promises that God has given to us as his people.
The Bible speaks of how we view the future as having hope. This is not the kind of hope that wishes things will go well, like hoping for good weather for our family picnic. Nor is it a simply a desire that things will get better and that our wishes will come true if we wait long enough. Rather our hope for the future is solid, unshakable confidence in the Word and the promises of God himself.
Our God is a God who has promised us that in all things he “works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Our God is a God who has assured us that the gates of hell itself will not overcome his church (Matthew 16:18). Our Savior is the One who promised us that he would never leave us or forsake us, that he will be with us to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20), and that he knows the very number of the hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30). These promises come to us from a God who has kept all his promises throughout history. So our hope for the future is anchored to the promises God has made and built on the promises he has kept.
It’s not that our confident hope in God’s promises is not challenged or threatened. We need only to look at what is happening in our own country today to see evidence of that. Cultural rot and decay seem to be taking place at an ever-increasing pace. Biblical truths and values are being cast aside and rejected—even by some who claim to be Christians. Racial tensions and divides are on the increase. Violence is becoming a way of life in some communities, and human life itself is no longer valued and protected. In addition to all of that, the government itself seems to be actively contributing to a wide variety of problems.
As the election approaches, I will cast my votes for the candidates who I believe will be best for our nation. I hope that every WELS member does the same. As we do that, regardless of the results of the election, we will look to the future with confidence and trust—not in candidates or political parties or policy positions, but with a full trust that our times and the times of our nation and the world rest in God’s very capable and trustworthy hands.
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Author: Mark G. Schroeder
Volume 103, Number 11
Issue: November 2016
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