Have you ever seen an election year like 2024?
We’re not just talking about the normal intensity of election fever, with the constant bombardment of political ads, dueling polls, and round the clock cable news coverage. No, this year is quite different.
On the one hand, a second face-off between Joe Biden and Donald Trump seems inevitable.
On the other hand, the future of both of these aging leaders is fraught with uncertainty.
Will President Biden be able to campaign and participate in debates, let alone lead for four more years? (Of course, many would say he is absolutely not fit to lead right now.)
The recent DOJ report, with conclusions that sounded more like a satire piece from the Onion or Babylon Bee, was incredibly damaging, while the damage-control press conference which followed had the precise opposite effect. (Think of it as an all-out train wreck.)
Then there are the ever present concerns of the charges against Hunter Biden, which could seriously implicate Biden as well.
As for replacing Biden at the last minute, that, too, creates more uncertainty.
Would it be the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, who is more radically left than Biden? Will Michelle Obama save the day? Who knows?
When it comes to former president Trump, he is faced with different states seeking to remove him from their primary ballots, leading to court cases that have made their way to the Supreme Court.
He also faces a mountain of charges and indictments, which means many more court cases and endless expenditures of time and money. Will he be disqualified legally from running again? Or will a series of “guilty” verdicts cost him millions of needed voters?
Plus, he is no spring chicken himself.
Added to all this is the fact that the passions for and against Trump are off the charts, with some pundits warning, “If Trump wins the election there will be a civil war!” while other pundits warn, “If Trump loses the election there will be a civil war!” One influential Christian leader even opined that it might be worth a civil war to get Trump back in office.
Uncertainty and instability and insecurity are the very relevant words of the hour.
How, then, do we keep our sanity?
First and foremost, we remember that God is still God. He still sits enthroned as the King of the universe.
He still superintends the affairs of this earth, even while giving us humans all kinds of latitude to do good or to do evil.
That’s why the psalmist could say,
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1–3)
That means that no matter how much things shake around us, we do not need to be shaken. That also means that, if we put our focus in the right place, starting our days with worship rather than with the news, and meditating on the Word more than focusing on the latest polls and scandals, we can have peace in the midst of the storm.
Let’s also remember that there are many regions of the world experiencing much more turmoil and upheaval and danger than America. And there were plenty of times in the past that make today look like a time of stability and peace.
Yet at all times and in all places, God is our refuge and strength. As Proverbs stated,
“Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26)
Put another way, if God can give you peace in the midst of a tsunami or earthquake or tornado or hurricane, He can give you peace in the midst of a thunderstorm.
Jesus is still Lord, still risen from the dead, still sitting at the right hand of the Father, and still fully accessible. Walking with Him and living in Him will keep us free from fear and anxiety and despair.
So, to repeat, put your focus where it belongs and fill your heart and mind with wholesome and helpful things (see Philippians 4:6-8). It will make a massive difference in your emotional stability and inner health.
It is true that the stakes are very high, and it is true that some of our most fundamental values and freedoms are under attack.
But it is also true that, just as we survived past elections and election cycles, we will survive this one. In fact, if we, the people of God, keep our emphasis and our priorities right, we can offer peace and hope and direction to the people of the world.
We know who our Savior is. We know what our ultimate future is.
We know what really matters in the light of eternity.
Let us, then, step above the madness of the hour and the political divisiveness – while still doing our part in the election process – and let us talk about Jesus more than we talk about candidates.
It will do our own souls well. And we might just help others too.