At first glance it would seem that a hung parliament is the worst possible outcome that could have been achieved. At this country’s time of crisis we need strong leadership and decisive action not a minority government or coalition. Regardless of your political affiliation the results were both good and bad.
From my perspective: on the plus side the Conservatives claimed a large number of Labour seats, England at least swung resoundingly to the Tories and best of all the Lib Dems were, in the words of Nick Clegg, ‘disappointing’. I’d use a much stronger word if I could stop laughing for a minute. Jacqui Smith lost her seat and Nigel Farage survived his plane crash.
But on the down side the Conservatives did not gain enough seats to have a majority, people still voted Labour, 29,000 people voted directly for Gordon Brown and there’s talk as well of a Lab/Lib coalition. Worse of all was the news that Brighton had elected a Green MP – and I thought the Scottish were mad!
Overall though this election could be described as the One Which Nobody Won. Labour lost, the Conservatives didn’t win and the Liberal Democrats were the Liberal Democrats.
Dark times lie ahead, economically speaking we’re in a bad way, a hung parliament means a lack of confidence in the UK, a minority or coalition government means uncertainty and not the strong leadership we need. Where then is the encouragement? Who can we turn to?
Certainly not the politicians, they spent the election campaign lying and they’re not about to stop now. Certainly not to ‘positive thinking’ or any other ridiculous modern invention for coping when times are tough. No, we need to turn to God and to the truths in his Word. In fact, I can guarantee to brighten your day with just three verses:
“Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.”
Daniel 2 v 20 - 21
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8 v 28
And with just these three verses our outlook on the current situation changes completely. Gone should be our worry, gone should be our fear, gone should be our disappointment. For God is in control of all things. He raises up rulers and brings them down. The current hung parliament has all been set up by God, indeed, before the creation of the world God planned that in the 2010 UK election there would be no winner.
But more, much more, than that is the promise in Romans 8 – that all things work out to the good of God’s people! Here then lies our true source of encouragement for what can faze us now? What grounds have we to ever fear for our future?
It is a promise that is difficult to fully grasp – it is all too easy to look at things from a purely human perspective. We do not know what the future holds; we often do not know how things will work out to the good of God’s people. In many cases it often appears on the surface that everything is working against God’s people.
But we are not called to doubt God. Instead we must pray for faith, a faith that will outlast disasters, a faith that will remain rooted in the promises of God’s word, a faith that expresses complete trust in the Lord God Almighty.
For what does the Lord require of us?
“He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6 v 8
We are not called to understand what God is doing – for who could? We called to submit to his sovereign and perfect will.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55 v 8 – 9
I’m not going to be perfect in this – in the times to come I will falter, I will doubt, in the dark days that may be ahead it will be a struggle to have faith. But through the grace of God may I remain strong! May we all remain strong! For as I said in an earlier post: when it comes to election God always wins.
So next time you hear me moan about the state of the government, the difficult economic circumstances, the foolishness of worldly wisdom then point me to Romans 8, Daniel 2, Isaiah 55 and Micah 6 and say: oh you of little faith why do you doubt?
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.
Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.