Spot of Grace
October 26, 2016
As Christians, How Should We Vote?
Are you discouraged?
My reason for writing these Spots in the weeks leading up to the election is not to tell you how to vote, but to encourage you to pray. I’ve been considering some main aspects, and the focus for this week is discouragement.
In my conversations with people about the upcoming election, I’ve heard several people communicating a sense of being discouraged. They are unsure who to vote for as they don’t feel confident about either candidate. Being discouraged is a pretty uncomfortable state to be in. Have you ever had times of discouragement? Discouragement defined is the absence of strength and hope. When we are discouraged we lack the strength to carry on. We don’t have hope that things will change. Today I want to urge you to pray about discouragement.
If you have ever wrestled with discouragement, as I’m sure most of us have, you know that it drains your energy and your hope. If we are not careful, discouragement can lead to despair, which is the absence of any hope. I am really concerned about the amount of discouragement and despair I see and hear from folks around me. To be honest, I’m wrestling with similar things myself.
As a pastor, I have known times of discouragement. It might be because of someone’s attempt to help me or to share their opinion, but in reality their words seem critical. These conversations or anonymous notes seem to come at times when I am most inclined to be discouraged. It might be a season of much activity, or times when I feel dry. You may feel uncomfortable hearing that pastors get discouraged. Unfortunately, it is a reality.
When we get discouraged, too often we look inward instead of looking up. We focus on the source of the discouragement instead of looking to the One who not only comforts, but also strengthens. Circumstances come and go.
Emotions come and go. Even elections come and go. But God needs to be the constant object of our hope. People will misunderstand us. Trials will come. But our God reigns and is near to the discouraged, broken and hurting.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
In a recent season of discouragement, I found these words really helpful and insightful.
“The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of the pain, thanking God during the trials, trusting him when we’re tempted to lose hope and loving him when he seems so distant and far away.” ~ Rick Warren
“At my lowest, God is my hope. At my darkest, God is my light. At my weakest, God is my strength. At my saddest, God is my comforter.” ~ Sharon Milliman
When you are discouraged and before you fall into despair turn to God.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. Psalm 18:6
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord. Psalm 130:1